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LAKES 



REV C. D. BELL M.A. 




'V&'U:?'ty*X''<rt ■:.-.■ -/:\ 



FROM THE LIBRARY OF 
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 






I 



^v. 



VOICES FROM THE LA 



X*.- 



AXD OTHER POEM 




BY THE 



// 



A*L 



BEY. CHAELES D. BELL, IfcA., 



RECTOR OF CHELTENHAM, AND HONORARY CANON OF CARLISLE. 



LONDON: 
JAMES NISBET & CO., 21 BURNERS STBEET. 

MDCCCLXXVII. 



EDINBURGH I 
PRINTED BY JOHN GRBIG AND SON. 



DEDICATION. 



TO MY WIFE AND CHILDREN, 

in memory of our happy days at Loughrigg Brow, 
which, though no longer our residence, I am grateful 
to think may still be regarded as a second Home, the 
following Poems, written at intervals during several 
years, and now for the first time published, are 
affectionately dedicated by the Author. 

The Rectors, 
Cheltenham, October 1876. 



DEDICATORY SONNET. 

TO MY WIFE AND CHILDREN. 

sOwLfeY dear ones! In your hands this Book I lay, 
llrK Looking for gentle judgment and no scorn, 

Else had this little volume been forborne, 
Nor had I sent it forth to face the day, 
But rather in oblivion let it stay 

Where with no critic's words I should be torn, 

Nor felt their arrows rankle like a thorn, 
As I passed onward on my humbled way — 
But you will kindly weigh this offered Book, 

And it shall call me softly back to mind, 
When in its pages you shall sometimes look, 

And think of all the pleasant days behind, 
Whose current flowing like some hidden brook, 
Thro' all your memories shall gently wind. 




CONTENTS. 



Tarn Hawse ..... 

Skelwith Force .... 

A Summer Evening in Brathay Churchyard 

St Mary's Church, Ambleside 

A Meadow at Kydal .... 

A May Evening at Ambleside 

A Summer Morning at Ambleside 

An Autumn Day at Ambleside 

Winter at Ambleside .... 

Wilfred Kay ..... 

St Mary's Churchyard, Ambleside . 

The Same ..... 



PAGE 
3 

6 
10 
18 
14 
17 
20 
25 
29 
33 
90 
91 



DEVOTIONAL POEMS. 



" And there was no more Sea " 

Before 

After . 



95 
100 
105 



VI CONTEXTS. 

PAGE 

" Xot Unclothed, but Clothed upon" . . . 112 

" I would not Live alw ay" ..... 115 

A Dirge ....... 118 

Life or Death ....... 120 

Dying Words ...... 121 

A Dying Wish ....... 125 

The Same ....... 120 

Last Words ....... 127 

Resignation . . . . . . . 130 

"Is it well with the Child ?" .... 131 

Augustine ....... 134 

The Same . . . . . . .135 

The Well of Bethlehem ..... 136 

The Law of Love ...... 153 

Life . . . . . . . . 157 

Death ........ 158 

A Picture ....... 159 

Aspirations ....... 160 

RlZPAH 161 

A Peniteht ....... 162 

Naomi ........ 163 

Heart-Struggles ...... 165 

The Dream of Pilate's Wife .... 167 

Light at Eventide ..... . 177 

Night and Morning ...... 179 

HYMNS. 

Advent ........ 185 

A Christmas Carol ...... 188 



CONTENTS. Til 

PAGE 

Good Friday ....... 192 

Easter Day ....... 194 

Ascension Day ....... 197 

Night and Day ...... 200 

A Harvest Hymn ...... 203 

A Prayer ....... 206 

Israel's Keeper ....... 208 

Humility ....... 210 

The Saviour's Legacy . ..... 212 

A Sabbath Evening Hymn ..... 214 

Ox Laying the Foundation-Stone of a Church . . 216 

The Goodness of God ..... 219 

Heart-Breathings ...... 224 

Whitsunday ....... 227 

A Plea for Mercy ...... 229 

Trust in God ...... 231 

A Heart.Cry ....... 234 

The L t nchanging One ..... 236 

The Resolve ....... 238 

God's Furnace ...... 240 

The Hiding-Place . . . ... . 244 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Dead ........ 249 

Lionel and Margaret . . . . . . 254 

Lost! 280 

Lines Suggested by seeing a Dead Infant on its Mother's 

Breast ....... 286 

For Music ....... 288 



Till 



CONTENTS. 



to my mocking-bird 

The Same .... 

Nature . . 

Our Cathedrals 

The Same 

Stars ..... 

The Curse 

Casaubon .... 

Philippa .... 

The Same 

Hastings .... 

Hastings 

The Same 

Lake of Geneva . . . 

The Azure Grotto, Capri 

The Same 

The Sybyll's Cave, Naples 

An Old Letter 

The Origin of the Forget-me-not 

Recollections of a Picture 

A Conceit 

To a Friend . 

The Marriage Zone 

Lord Nann and the Fairy . 

Merlin, the Bard 

The Hope deferred that maketh the 

A Parable from Nature 

The Watchman 



Heart sick 



PAGK 

289 
290 
291 
292 
293 
294 
295. 
296 
297 
298 
299 
300 
301 
302 
303 
304 
305 
306 
308 
311 
314 
317 
319 
331 
338 
354 
357 
358 



VOICES FROM THE LAKES, 

AND OTHER POEMS. 




Hr 




TARN HAWSE. 



SKH. FL'BPLE glory of clouds 
gHK v In a fading evening sky, 

Flushed with the hues of a sun that sinks 
Behind the blue hills to die. 



A silvery crescent moon, 
In a tremulous sea of light, 

Shining in beauty to grace the eve 
And gladden the corning: ni^ht. 



One lustrous planet that shines 
Far down in the glowing west, 

Large and lambent and all aflame. 
Like a jewel on lady's breast. 



TARN HA WSE. 

A billowy sea of hills, 

With an outline clear and bold, 
Stretching as far as the eve can reach, 

In many a wavy fold. 

Hills all solemn and grand, 

Yet soft in the tender gloom, 
And glowing with colour from crown to base, 

From the heather's crimson bloom. 

A tarn at the mountain's foot, 

With a fringe of fragrant grass, 
Where the skies and clouds are reflected clear, 

In waters as still as glass. 

To the front the fair Bowfell 

Bears up its crest on high ; 
And Wetherlam stretches its curving length 

Against the darkening sky. 

Bound the Langdale Pikes is wreathed 

A diadem dark of cloud ; 
And Scawfell, robed in mist, looms up 

Like a aiant in his shroud. 



TARN HAWSE. 

Glaramara lifts his head 

Out of the valley afar, 
And in the dim and quivering light, 

Seems to kiss the evening star. 

I know not in all the land, 

Through the country far or near, 

A scene of such perfect beauty as this, 
With the hills and the little mere. 

Oft have I watched the scene ; 

Silence on moor and fell, 
Broken alone to the listening ear 

By the sound of the far sheep -bell. 

If this earth is so fair, God, 

Ah, what must it be above, 
Where all things are seen in the light — 

The light of Thy perfect love ! 

For the loveliest shapes of earth, 
Are but shadows of things that are ; 

Wonders undreamt in Thy world on high, 
Beyond this moon and star. 



SKELWITH FORCE. 



' D (1^^--^ warmth of a summer noou, 
A sky, translucent and bright, 
On which there is sleeping a fleecy cloud, 
Suffused with an amber light. 



The beauty of valley and hill, 

And a river murmuring near, 
That tumbles and rolls over mosses and stones. 

Limpid and cool and clear. 

A meadow of emerald grass, 

Sloping from up the dell, 
Broidered all over with daisies white, 

And gemmed with the blue harebell. 

Stretching away to the west, 

The Langdales rise on high, 
Till the cloven crown of their soaring peaks 

Is lost in the blue of the sky. 



SEE L WITH FORCE. 7 

Curvings of hills all round, 

Fit frame for the picture fair ; 
And rock and scar most tenderly veiled 

In a haze of bright golden air. 

At the foot of the meadow green, 

The rush of a foaming fall, 
Whose waters dash downward from rock to rock, 

Melodious and musical. 

The gentle whisper of trees, — 

Alder, and poplar, and pine ; 
With the flush of roses in every hedge, 

Where the briar and loosestrife twine. 

Sweet flowers on field and fell, 

And plumed ferns everywhere ; 
The Oak, and Parsley, and Beech, 

And dark-stemmed Maiden-hair. 

'Tis a scene of pastoral peace, 

Fair as a poet's dream ; 
With a glamour of beauty on all that you see, — 

On copse, and wood, and stream. 



SKELWITH FORCE. 

'Tis said that the morning stars 
Sang aloud at Creation's birth ; 

That the sons of God shouted for joy, 
As He rounded this new-born earth. 

And well may they sing on still, 

Looking down on this radiant scene, 

With its hills, and meadows, and woods, 
And the river that flows between. 

And the song may flow thro' the night, 
When the purple shadows fall ; 

And mingle its notes with the rush 
Of the foaming waterfall. 

Dear God ! to lie 'neath the blue, 
And muse on Thy wondrous love, 

Is a pleasure, the sweetest on earth, — 
A joy as of Eden above. 

For the very gates of Thy heaven 
Seem to open before the gaze ; 

And the soul is lifted out of itself 
In a rapture of bliss and praise. 



SKELWITH FORCE. 

In a rapture of praise and bliss, 
Which stirs the pulses like wine, 

To a passion of keenest delight, 
That borders upon the divine. 

Ah ! 'tis well to come hither and muse, 
For the world intrudeth not here ; 

Nature herself is all in all, 

And God and the angels are near. 



«$* 



10 



A SUMMER EVENING IN BRATHAY CHURCHYARD. 

w|j~g^HE rain that fell all morning ceased at eve ; 
J^yfv Now not a cloudlet dims the sun's last ray, 
Whose brilliant beams a crown of glory weave. 
Around the forehead of the dying day ; 
And silver arrows from the moon's bright quiver 
Fall in faint shafts of light upon the river. 

The darkening hills lie grandly all around, 
And flashes o'er their crests the evening star ; 

The Brathay's murmur is the only sound 

That breaks the brooding silence near or far ; 

On earth, and air, and sky, there lies a hush, 

Not e'en a night-bird warbles in the bush. 

The church-tower rises darkly to the sky, 
Like some tall guardian of the dead beneath, 



A SUMMER EVENING. 1 1 

Who in their quiet resting-places lie ; 

For this fair realm belongs to silent death, — 
A. realm whose sweetness and whose beauty have 
Nought of the gloom or terror of the grave. 

How beautiful the scene ! It breathes of rest, 

Unbroken quiet, and eternal ease ; 
The stars are mirrored in the stream's calm breast, 

Unruffled by the shadow of a breeze ; 
And earth lies smiling in a happy dream, 
Its lullaby, the music of the stream. 

Pathos and stillness crown the place and hour, 
As in the west the light begins to pale, 

And dewy night draws over tree and flower 
Her dark, but fair, and star-inwoven veil ; 

And o'er this hallowed ground is shed abroad 

The peace and deep tranquillity of God. 

Upon the soul there comes a sense of calm, — 

A quiet, born of happy solitude, — 
A peace that steals upon the heart like balm, 

As odours on the air from yonder wood ; 
And sorrow's self forgets her tears to weep, 
And anguish for the time is lulled to sleep. 



12 A SUMMER EVENING. 

The world we bring not with us here ; we leave 
Behind its stormy passions and its strife, 

All that compels the noble mind to grieve, 
The trifles and the meannesses of life ; 

For in this spot where God is all in all, 

The world appears immeasurably small. 

Ah ! when the fever of this life is past, 
And the long labour of the day is done, 

How sweet to rest in this fair spot at last, 
Our grave illumined by the setting sun, 

And guarded by the purple hills around, 

The Brathay flowing near with silver sound. 



13 




ST MARY'S CHURCH, AMBLESIDE. 

I^WEET village church amidst the purple hills, 
That rise in grandeur from the emerald plain, 
Like loving guardians of thy holy fane, 
Built within sound of two clear mountain rills, 
Whose music all the peaceful silence fills. 

Dear house of God ! Till life itself shall wane, 
Thy memories shall haunt both heart and brain, 
Never to fade till death these pulses still. 
Oft in thy walls, so simple, yet so fair, 
I've felt the calm that breathed from place and hour, — 
The softened light, the organ's mellow power, 

Sweet hymn, and thrilling psalm, and holy prayer ; 
So rapt the spirit, and so deep the spell, 
If this were earth or heaven I could not tell. 



14 




A MEADOW AT RYDAL. 

[H'HE fields were like bright cloth of gold, 

The buttercups so thickly grew ; 

The lanes were full as they could hold 

Of orchis and the speedwell blue. 

Hedgerows with starry flowers were gay, 
Banks were with purple foxgloves lined ; 

On meadows lay the new mown hay, 
Whose scent came on the summer wind. 

Bright butterflies were on the wing, 

Floating along the liquid air ; 
Bees into flowers themselves did fling, 

And pass'd the honied hours there. 

The cows stood knee-deep in the stream 
That rippled thro' the open glade ; 

Or churned their mouths in happy dream, 
Couched 'neath the elm-trees' leafy shade. 



A MEADOW AT RYDAL. 15 

The hills were veiled in tender mist 

Of azure and of golden air ; 
The vales shone like to amethyst, 

The woods gleamed bright as emerald fair. 

The lark was singing in the sky, 

The birds were warbling in the trees, 

A happy voice came wandering by — 
11 Cuckoo, cuckoo," on the breeze. 

We stood amidst the fragrant grass, 
We looked on valley, sky, and hill ; 

We watched the shadows come and pass, 
We drank of Nature to our fill. 

We talked of man, we talked of God, 

Of friends on earth, and friends in heaven ; 

Of some who lay beneath the sod, 
Of some who still to us were given. 

And then we fell to silence oft, 

Broken at times by happy sigh ; 
Or by the woodland voice, so soft, 

Of " Cuckoo, cuckoo," passing by. 



16 A MEADOW AT RYDAL. 

A calm, that o'er all Nature stole, 

And gently breathed of peace and rest, 

Pass'd from the scene into the soul, 
And throned itself within the breast. 

Ah ! happy, happy, happy day, 
I hope for others like to thee ! 

For tho' my head since then is grey, 
Nature is more, not less, to me. 

I hope to love it on till death ; 

Blue noons, fair nights, and gentle springs, 
The cuckoo's voice, the cowslip's breath, — 

All living, and all lifeless things. 






17 



A MAY EVENING AT AMBLESIDE. 

JHE happy hills round Windermere, 
Look purple through the evening air ; 
The light falls soft on field and fell, 
On rugged scar and wooded dell. 

A leafy splendour crowns the scene, 
The oak puts forth her tender green ; 
The branching pine stands dark and high, 
Against the pale and solemn sky. 

The fragrant thorn is flowered with May, 
Whose snows rest thick on every spray ; 
And beech and birch-tree bending make 
A mirror of the placid lake. 

The noise of streams is in the ear, 
And rapid Roth a murmurs near ; 
While birds from woods and copses dim 
Chant loud and clear their evening hymn. 



18 A MAY EYEXIXG AT AMBLESIDE. 

How mellow is the throstle's note ! 
What music swells the robin's throat ! 
And hark ! from far the cuckoo's cry, 
Borne on the breeze, comes wandering by. 

See how the tender opal light 
Burns like a crown on Loughrigg's height ; 
AVhile Fairfield's crest in shadow lies, 
Veiled in empurpled mysteries ! 

peaceful hours ! happy time ! 

Spring, in all thy glorious prime ! 

1 feel the spirit of the scene 

Thrill me with pleasure pure and keen. 

God so great ! God so good ! 
To spread such wealth of lake and wood, 
To pile the mountains, arch the sky, 
Low at Thy feet in praise I lie ! 

Father of mercies, I would see 
Thy love in all, and all in Thee ; 
Proofs of Thy goodness and Thy grace, 
Through sight and sound in every place. 



A MAY EVENING AT AMBLESIDE. 



19 



And oft, when gazing o'er this land, 
Decked by Thy kind and liberal hand, 
I ask, in wonderment of bliss, 
" Was Eden's self so fair as this ? " 



20 



A SUMMER MORNING AT AMBLESIDE. 

gV/HEEE lies a hush on all the summer woods, 
Unbroken save by pipe of joyous bird; 
The air is still, and motionless the clouds — 
So still, the rippling wheat is scarcely stirr'd. 
How calm the scene ! No bleating of the flocks 
Comes from the meadow grass, or echoes from the rocks. 

There was a sound of welcome rain last night, 
Blowing from up the dale, and o'er the hills ; 

But now the storm has passed, and all is bright ; 
The becks are fuller, and a thousand rills 

Rush foaming down the hollows in white streams, 

Flashing from eras: to eras; with rainbow- coloured 
gleams. 

Like diamonds shine the rain- drops in the sun, 

Gemming each shimmering leaf, each spike of grass, 

And sweet shy flowers that 'neath the hedgerows run, 
To hide their loveliness from all who pass ; 



A SUMMER MORNING AT AMBLESIDE. 21 

While honeysuckle and the golden broom 
Scent all the fragrant air with rich perfume. 

The tender shadows quickly come and go, 
Climbing the hills, and creeping up the dell ; 

And all the valley is with light aglow, 

And crowned with glory every rugged fell ; 

Sunshine is on the landscape far and wide, 

Sparkles in every mere, and down the country side. 

I know this land by heart, aye, every nook — 
Each coj)se, each tarn, and every leafy dell : 

Each brawling streamlet, and each tinkling brook — 
I know it all by heart, and love it well. 

Oft have I watched the daylight dawn, and pale, 

And evening wrap the valley in her dusky veil. 

Not far from hence you see the tall church spire, 
Where sunbeams rest upon the house of prayer ; 

The blazoned windows burn as if on fire ; 
And, palpitating on the crystal air, 

I fancy I can hear the chiming bell, 

And distant dreamy music from the organ swell. 



22 A SUMMER MORNING AT AMBLESIDE. 

Wordsworth's dear mount is yonder, old and grey, 
And guarded well by Fairfield's purple crest ; 

Walled in with laurel, and with fragrant bay, 
A very Paradise of peace and rest, 

With beauty all around, both far and near, 

And, full in front, the queen of lakes, fair Windermere. 

There in the valley — I can see it now — 

Haunted by memories of the great and good, 

Lies Arnold's favourite home, his sweet Fox How, 
Hid in a bower of shrubs and waving wood ; 

Far from the restless, troubled world withdrawn, 

A poet's dream of river, garden, copse, and lawn. 

Without what beauty, and within what grace 

Of cultured minds, — true " sweetness" and true 
"light!" 

Him death had throned long since in his just place — 
Man of the ample brain, keen, polished, bright ; 

But she lived still, the loving tender wife, 

Helpmeet and friend through all his grand heroic life. 

Who can forget, that ever knew her well, 
The rapid sympathies, the genial smile, 



A SUMMER MORXIXG AT AMBLESIDE. 23 

The wise, true words from gracious lips that fell, 
Charming the listener, as she talked the while, 
Now grave — now gay — now earnest with deep thought, 
As truths of highest reach before her mind were brought. 

All this is now a memory, — a sigh, — 

Like other memories both sweet and sad ; 

How the years rob us as they hurry by, 
Taking away so much that made us glad ! 

Yet leaving to us still so much that's bright, 

Our path is not all dark, — at worst a chequered light. 

Poorer that home, poorer the valley now ; 

For on a tomb is carved a pure white cross, 
That tells to all who through the churchyard go, 

Her everlasting gain and our sore loss. 
Traced on the stone this record fronts the sight, — 
" Her meetness for the saints' inheritance in light." 

What thrills me ? Pain or bliss ? pain, to think 
Of happy hours for ever past and flown ! 

bliss, again to stand upon the brink 

Of this dear fell, and muse of what is gone ! 

pain, to ponder on the days now o'er ! 

bliss, to feel this pleasure all my own once more ! 



24 .4 SUMMER MORNING AT AMBLESIDE. 

Sweet pain, keen bliss, — I know not which is best, 
The pain that fills my saddened eyes with tears, 

The bliss that throbs through all my happy breast, 
As here again I feel the joy of years ! 

I know not which I'd choose, or that, or this, — 

The pain so bitter sweet, the sweet yet bitter bliss. 



25 



AN AUTUMN DAY AT AMBLESIDE. 
^JCTiUTTJMN with fierv hand hath touched the leaves, 

SSbb . 

&@i£ Turning their glossy green to burning gold ; 
And twittering swallows chatter on the eaves 
Of flight to summer lands from regions cold ; 
Soft cloudlets rest upon the clear blue sky, 
And breezes from the lake come wafted freshly by. 

A valley 'tis which woods and streams adorn, 
Few plains the golden tillage richly yield, 

Few sickles flash, few reapers bind the corn, 
Few harvest songs are heard from fold or field ; 

Stretches there are of emerald pasture ground, 

Girdled by mountain beauty all around. 

And now the gorgeous woods are all ablaze, 
Glowing with colours of more brilliant dyes 

Than gleam from monarch's robes on gala days, 
Or strike with sudden light men's dazzled eyes, 

As coming forth in royal pomp and state, 

He enters halls where thronging courtiers wait. 



26 AN A UTUMN DAY AT AMBLESIDE. 

A golden lustre fills the wooing air, 

And rock and scar all bathed in amber mist 

Transfigured seem to shapes divinely fair, 
Suffused with orange, rose, and amethyst, 

"Which o'er their hoary brows a radiance fling, 

Bright as the iris on an angel's wing. 

The mountains glow with ever-changing sheen, 
That varies with the shifting gleams of light ; 

Here golden ferns, that rise 'midst mosses green, 
Shake out their curling plumes on every height ; 

There fragrant heath, each bell a pendent gem, 

Crowns the deep grass with purple diadem. 

The balmy day is musical with sounds ; 

The plaintive robin's song, the caw of rooks, 
The low of herds in far-off pasture grounds, 

"Whispers of leaves and noise of babbling brooks, 
And rush of streams that flow in milk-white rills. 
Down the blue hollows of the distant hills. 

Autumn is in her young and lusty noon ; 

Nor fallen leaves, nor withered flowers betray, 
That this proud pomp of splendour all too soon 

Shall change, and fade, and pass into decay ; 



AX A UTUMN DA Y A T AMBLESIDE. 21 

That Winter with his cold and chilling breath, 
Shall freeze this beauty all to icy death. 

Autumn days, that crowned the waning year, 
And flushed the glowing hills with tender light ; 

Suns, whose rising crimsoned every mere, 

Whose setting fringed with gold the skirts of night ; 

How often have I stood, — as I do now, — 

And watched your glories from this sloping brow. 

days all fair, half sad, which to the mind 
Bring memories of times for ever flown ; 

Of pleasures in the years so far behind, 

And voices silent, and dear friends now gone ; 

1 live a two -fold life within your light — 
The past and present are at once in sight. 

Ah me ! how much I love this country fair ! 

The valley and the hills, both far and wide ; 
The quiet village builded here and there, 

Part on the plain, part on the mountain side, 
The houses stretching up to Stock Ghyll's Fall, 
They were my happy pastoral charge, both one and all. 



28 AN A UfUMN DA Y AT AMBLESIDE. 

Dear Autumn days ! What fruitless yearnings rise 
That all the loved ones were with us again ; 

What tears unbidden spring up to the eyes, 
To know such longings idle are and vain ; — 

That they who gladdened all the days of yore, 

Shall look with us upon these scenes no more. 

happy Autumn ! bright halcyon days ! 

When earth lies basking in the golden light ; 
mellow moons, that shine with softest rays, 

Flooding with splendour all the solemn night ; 
Linger awhile ; fain would we keep you here ; 
We would not part — not yet — with what we hold so dear. 

It may not be. The happy year must wane, 
And go the way of all things, bright and fair, 

Of hopes that die never to live again — 

Of pleasures numbered 'niongst the things that were — 

Here all is change — upward we turn our sight ; 

Suns set not there, nor Moons withdraw their light. 



r^H=^ 




29 



WINTER AT AMBLESIDE. 

2IXTEE in this fair land lias many moods ; 
f2> At times the storms come roaring down the 
vale, 

Across the mountains, through the sounding woods, 
Or sweeping up the Ghylls with shudd'ring wail, 
Shaking the red-stemmed pines that on the height 
Spread out their gloomy branches dark as night. 

Sometimes from stormy skies the rain-cloud breaks. 
Swelling the torrents in their rocky bed, 

Till streams grow rivers, rivers grow to lakes, 

And boats might ply where once the reapers sped, 

And the whole air is murm'rous with the sound 

Of rushing waters foaming all around. 

This noon there is a keenness in the air 

Which stirs the blood and makes the pulse beat high, 
And the whole scene is most divinely fair, 

Lying beneath a pale but clear blue sky, 
"Which sheds a softened lustre o'er the plain, 
And on the silent streams, each bound in ©Tittering chain. 



30 WINTER AT AMBLESIDE. 

White is the valley once so brightly green, 

White all the mountain tops now crowned with snow, 

Which glitter with a light intense and keen 
When with the dawn the sky is all aglow, 

The colour changing as the day-light grows, 

From grey to purple, purple into rose. 

The trees are stripped, yet are no longer bare, 
Feathered with snow they stand up in the light 

All motionless, and not a passing air 

Stirs their pure bridal robe of spotless white, 

While from each bough clear icicles hang down, 

Like flashing diamonds in a monarch's crown. 

Fair are these days so calm, so still, so bright, 
Fair is each glassy lake, each hoary fell, 

Fair are the falls that quiver in the light, 
Fair is each ice-bound tarn, each rocky dell, 

Fairer than all the night, w T ith moon and star 

Shining like crystals in the heavens afar. 

And yet, though fair, the beauty 'tis of death, 
For earth is covered with a snowy shroud, 

Her requiem chanted by the wind's rude breath, 
In tones now low and soft, now deep and loud. 



WINTER AT AMBLESIDE. 31 

And Nature lies all white upon her bier, 

And clouds shed o'er her pall the sympathising tear. 

Hopeless looks all as when the cruel words, 
" Ashes to ashes" o'er our loved are said, 

Telling of cisterns broken, withered gourds, 
Of bitter weeping for the newly dead, 

And the grave closes o'er the lifeless clay, 

And we go forth to front the world as best we may. 

No snow-drop lifts its bell above the ground, 
No song of bird is heard amongst the trees, 

No hint of summer in the sky is found, 

No scent of spring gives fragrance to the breeze, 

No sign of leaf on valley, copse, or hill ; 

And the whole earth is silent, cold, and still. 

Yet there is hope, though all seems blank and dead ; 

There is a stirring at the roots of things, 
A throbbing quick of life in Earth's deep bed, 

A promise as of fair and joyous springs ; 
And buds there are where blossoms folded lie, 
Heady to burst in flower beneath the summer sky. 

Such hope, as when sad mourners go a-weeping, 
And bearing to the grave the precious seed 



32 WINTER AT AMBLESIDE. 

With hearts that well nigh break for dear ones sleeping, 

Yet trusting Him who is "the Life indeed" ; 
And able by His grace through tears sing, 
"Where is thy victory, grave; where, death, thy 
sting?" 

For soon the clay shall dawn, and shadows fly, 
Winter shall pass and Spring again shall bloom, 

Eternal Summer brighten all the sky, 

And smile upon a world without a tomb, 

Earth's resurrection shall with blessings come, 

And usher in with songs God's harvest home. 

Then He that comes to wake His saints shall say, 
As round to each clear sleeper's bed He goes 

To rouse them with a touch at break of day, 
And all His heart with tender love overflows, 

'• The morning breaks, the shadows flee away, 

Arise, my love, my dove, and come with me away ! 

14 Winter is past, the rain is gone and o'er, 
The song of birds fills all the happy land, 

Flowers appear upon the earth once more. 
The turtle-dove is heard on every hand, 

It is thy Bridegroom's voice to thee doth say, 

'Arise, my love, my dove, and come, oh, come away '. '" 



33 



WILFRED RAY. 

PART I. 
<>> p 

MX a fair valley of fair Westmoreland, 

Of English counties fairest, near the Lake 
Which by consent is crowned the queen of all, 
Sweet Windermere, a market village lies, 
Built part upon the fell, part in the vale. 
One long street stretches close beneath a hill, 
From end to end in length about a mile ; 
Another clambers up a church-crowned brow, 
With houses clustering near a place of graves. 
Xor stops the village here ; it runs still up, 
Nor ceases till you reach a sunny height, 
Prom which a glorious landscape fronts the eye, — 
Blue hills, and grassy dales, and silver streams, 
And fern-clad fells, and mountains throned in cloud— 
The Langdales rising over all to heaven, 
And Windermere, a stretch of spacious lake, 

c 



34 WILFRED RAY. 

Set in a frame of meadow and of wood, 
And roar of Stock-Ghyll Force heard far below. 
Here are bright pasture-lands, watered by streams 
As pure as was the river that flowed through 
The garden planted by the Lord in Eden, 
And which, four-branched, ran over sands of gold. 
It is a storied valley — haunted ground — 
Not from its wondrous loveliness alone, 
But from the memories of the good and great 
Who long had made it their adopted home, — 
Poets and scholars, men of note and fame, 
"Who made their mark upon the world beyond, 
And left it better than they found it ; — men 
Drawn hither by the beauty breathing round, — 
Mountains which catch the first gleam of the sun, 
And lakes that mirror in their placid breasts 
Meadow, and wood, and fell, and rugged scar ; 
And when the night draws darkness o'er the land, 
And sows the purple skies with silver stars, 
Glasses their brightness in the tranquil wave. 
The valley is a garden of the Lord, 
Well- watered, fertile, and a joy to see ; 
Ever presenting new and fresh delights, 
In copse and river, wood, and hill, and fall. 



WILFRED RAY. 35 

Here, in this vale, some sixty years ago, 

Before the new church with its fair churchyard 

Fronted the east, or its strong massive spire 

Caught on its top the flaming morning rays 

As the red sun shone over Wansf ell's head, 

And filled with light the valley far below, 

Lived Wilfred Ray, a statesman, well-to-do. 

This Wilfred had a story of his own ; 

And there are those alive who tell it still — 

A strange adventure of their native hills. 

The winter had set in with fitful storms, — 

Rain, hail, and snow, and frost that bound the streams 

And spread its icy coating o'er the tarns 

And smaller lakes at first ; and then so sharp 

And bitter grew the cold, and stayed so long, 

That "Windermere itself at length did yield 

Subjection to its thrall, and lay one sheet 

Of ice from end to end, from Waterhead 

To Newby Bridge, where the small rivulet 

Flows with a silver sound from out the lake. 

At this time Wilfred was some four months old, 

The first-born of his parents, and their joy. 

Michael and Ruth their names. Nigh fifteen months 

Had they been wedded, and the child was born. 



36 WILFRED RAY. 

Their married life ran on in full content, 

Close to the little mill whose dripping wheels 

Are washed and turned by the tumultuous Stock. 

Michael a native was of Ambleside, 

A village yet, and not a busy town, 

With gas, and Institute, and great hotels, 

And houses tall, somewhat pretentious too, 

And other changes which come in the wake 

Of what are called improvements, march of mind ; 

Though many think, with sorrow and regret, 

Of simple manners, hurt, or spoiled, or lost, 

And how the tastes and customs of the town 

Have driven out before them the more true 

And homely habits of the peasantiy. 

Tourists, who " fly like doves unto their windows/' 

Excursion trains, and steam-boats on the lake, 

Have won the land from quiet and repose ; 

And for the sunny summer months have sent 

Their crowds like swarms of locusts through the land. 

And yet, how well that toilers from our towns, 

Leaving the smoke, the dizzy noise of wheels, 

The whirling roar of engines, and the air 

Dark, close, and stifling, should come forth, and see 

God's face in fair blue skies, in fields and flowers, 



WILFRED RA Y. 37 

And hear His voice in soft and whispering winds, 

In rushing torrents, and in foaming falls. 

Well, they should breathe at times a purer air, 

And see the cloudless heavens all bright and clear, 

Where prayers may pierce direct, and not through clouds 

Of yellow smoke, which veil the sun from view. 

Ah ! well that tender childhood, pale and wan, 

Should leave the busy loom, and roaring wheels, 

Should sometimes see the lambs upon the sward, 

And chase the butterfly on flowery meads ; 

Or mark the bee collecting honeyed store, 

And hear the melody of singing birds. 

Haply, they carry back to stifling homes 

Some gentler thoughts of Nature, Man, and God. 

Close to the wooded shores of Ullswater, 

A lonely lake, shut in by purple hills, 

And glassing great Helvellyn in its wave, 

Ruth. Ray was born, and came to womanhood. 

Here did she grow in beauty year by year, 

As innocent and active as a fawn ; 

To her young feet each grassy slope and dell, 

Each tangled copse, each mountain clothed with ferns, 

Or bare and naked as the slate itself, 

Were things familiar as the sanded floor 



38 WILFRED RA Y. 

Of her own cottage. Well she knew the lake, 
Each bay, each landing-place, each shady nook, 
To which her boat might smoothly glide, or where 
It might be moored with safety to the shore. 
At sunny morn, or tranquil eve, she dipped 
Eight oft her oar in waters all so clear, 
That you could see some fathoms down, and watch 
The tiny fish, with bright and glistering backs, 
Glance swiftly here and there, and in their sport 
Rush through the feathery grass, or tangled weed. 
She was the idol of her parents' home, 
Their only girl. Two stalwart sons they had — 
Tall, strong, and with the independent gait 
And manly beauty of this northern land. 
They helped their father in his farming well, 
And mowed the hay, and reaped the scanty crops, 
Scarce ripe for sickle ere the winter's breath 
Came blowing chilly down the mountain's side. 
They drove the sheep up to the hills in spring, 
To feed through all the happy summer time 
On sweet and spacious tracts of fragrant fell. 
Michael had — in his visits to the dale, 
To purchase sheep, and stock his little farm — 
Seen fair Ruth Fletcher, gentle, modest, true, 



WILFRED RA Y. 39 

Sweet as the summer, fair as budding spring. 

Ah ! well remembered he the day when first 

They met, she shy as lily of the vale, 

That loves the covert of its sword- shaped leaves, 

And shrinking, hides its beauty from the sun. 

She sat within her boat, close to the shore, 

Beneath the shady boughs of birch and pine, 

And thinking no one near, beguiled the time 

AVith simple song, which charmed the listening ear ; 

So clear the voice, so silver sweet the tone, — 



'Tis well to be a maiden free, 
To roam o'er dale and hill, 
To feel the sweets of liberty, 
And wander where I will. 
A-well-a-day, heigho ! 
Softly the breezes blow, 
But shadows fall, the light begins to go. 

The whole day long I sing my song, 
Because I am my own — 

Because to none I do belong, 
But to myself alone. 



40 WILFRED RA Y. 

A-well-a-day, heigho ! 
Shall it be ever so ? 
Shall days to come be like the long ago ? 

Some that I meet say love is sweet, 

Some say 'tis full of care, 
And others that 'tis passing fleet, 
Gone like a breath of air. 
A-well-a-day, heigho! 
From joy oft springs our woe. 
And quickly pass all brightest things below. 

Content I feel, I wish no change, 

I wander at my will, 
Thro' field, o'er fell, I freely range, 
By lake, and wood, and hill. 
A-well-a-day, heigho ! 
My heart's my own, I know, 
And mine shall be, whoe'er may come or go. 

I need not say that tow she did not keep, 

Or tell how Michael wooed, and won her heart. 

Xor lightly was she won, this mountain maid. 

They had of happy courtship many days. 

Ask the green woods, the verdurous hills, the streams, 



WILFRED BAY. 41 

Where oft in tender dawns, and dewy eves, 
They wandered hand in hand together ; — ask 
The lake, where oft in balmy noons they dipped 
Their oars, and idly floated down the flood. 
The end of all these pleasant meetings this, 
Ruth loved as deeply as she was beloved ; 
And left her home and parents for his sake, 
Though not without some trembling and regrets. 
Some natural tears shed on her wedding-day, 
When she had turned to leave the church with him, 
Whose partner, friend, companion she must be, 
Through all the happy years of wedded life. 
He bore her proudly home — her home and his — 
And found she was a light within the house — 
An ever-present brightness and a joy, 
Whose voice made ceaseless music in his heart, 
Whose love refreshed him after hours of toil. 
So fled the months in happiness away, 
Like some great river, whose continuous stream 
Knows neither let nor hindrance in its flow ; 
And one fair autumn day a child was born, 
And Ruth became the mother of a boy, 
Which brought another joy to Michael's home, 
And brimmed his cup, until it overflowed, 



42 WILFRED RAY. 

And sang his heart, as sing the birds in May. 

One winter day — the boy was four months old — 

Ruth rose betimes, prepared for early walk, 

To Ulls water across the fells ; for news 

Had come her father was not well, and yearned 

To have her near him some two days or more. 

And she would take her babe — for she was proud 

Of her fair child — the boy would cheer 

The old man's heart, and do him worlds of good. 

So she made ready for her wintry walk, 

By Kirkstone Pass, and thence to Patterdale. 

Michael and she had never parted since 

Their marriage day. And could he have his way, 

They had not parted now ; but he was bound 

That day to meet at Grasmere (and indeed 

Had made th' engagement a whole week before) 

The land- steward from the Hall, and there with him 

To settle rent and terms for lease of farm 

He wished to add to that which now he held. 

But still he would go with her on the road 

A mile or so, and carried his sweet boy, 

Who crowed, and laughed, and was brimful of glee, 

As though the bright and bracing air had sent 

Its strengthening influence through all his frame. 



WILFRED RAY. 43 

He left her where the lonely Kirkstone Pass 

Comes into view — a Pass which, black and rough, 

And wild and rocky, leads by Hartsop Fell, 

Down to the winding Deepdale, near which gleams 

Fair Brothers Water. There they kissed and parted, 

And hope and love sang sweetly in their hearts, 

For on the third day they shonld meet again. 

She gained her father's house a little tired, 

And found the old man better, glad, and moved 

To see her and the infant, who, not strange, 

Looked out at him, with wondering blue eyes, 

And cooed, and made great dimples in his cheek. 

The visit was a happy one for all, — 

The aged couple, Ruth, and her young boy. 

Her brothers had been called away from home 

The day before that fixed for her return, 

Summoned on urgent business to Carlisle. 

She said " Good-bye," with many an ardent hope, 

That as the spring returned with genial breath, 

And vernal breezes blowing soft and mild, 

They all might meet again ; and " father, he 

Should come," she said, " and bring her mother too, 

And visit her and Michael, as before 

They once had done ; and sure she was the change 



44 WILFRED RAY. 

Would do them good, and gladden all their hearts." 

The morn was drear and cold, and darkened o'er 

With scudding clouds, that fled before a wind 

Biting and bitter, threatening fall of snow. 

They fain had kept her, but she would not stay ; 

" Michael expected her, they were to meet 

Upon the Kirk stone Pass, so he had said. 

She would not disappoint him, had no fears, 

Was strong and well, the snow might never come, 

Or, if it did, would not be much — a storm, 

And over." So against their wish she took 

Her way, and wrapped the babe in many a shawl, 

And pressed him to her breast to keep him warm. 

And then she journeyed bravely on her road, 

Along the rugged pathway, torn by rains, 

And broken by the torrents from the hills. 

She crossed the little bridge, beneath whose arch 

The Goldrill runs, of yellow, tawny, hue, 

And by the hills that, 'neath a leaden sky, 

Looked black and frowning, and then up the dell, 

Close by High Hartsop, nestling 'neath Dove Crags. 

So for some weary miles upon her way. 

The ruthless wind swept fiercely down the vale, 

Whirling white flakes of snow, which now fell fast, 



WILFRED RAY. 45 

And blotted out the heavens, and the hills 

To right and left, and blocked np all the paths. 

Poor Euth ! Soon wearied with the ceaseless fight 

Against the storm, breathless, blinded too, 

By showers of driving sleet, she could but stop, 

And turn her from the wind, then sink all faint 

Upon a crag that jutted on the road. 

Her babe began to cry ; she pressed it close, 

And held it firmly to her throbbing heart, 

Then breathed a piteous, earnest prayer to God. 

She knew there was no help, no house was near, 

Not even shepherd's hut, and solitude 

And desolation reigned around. Still roared 

The savage wind ; still fell the pitiless snow ; 

Still darker grew the day, and drifting mists 

Came down, and settled on the mountain tops, 

And threw a ghostly shroud athwart the land. 

Euth struggled to her feet again ; again 

Fronted the tempest's fury, and held on 

With slow and aching feet, and fainting heart. 

The boy was heavy in her arms, a weight 

She felt she had not strength to carry far. 

Had she to battle with the storm alone, 

She would have kept up heart, and bravely fought 



46 WILFRED RA Y. 

Against the blustering wind, and driving snow. 

But with her babe she knew the fight was vain. 

A feeling came upon her of despair ; 

She thought of home, her happy, happy home — 

Her husband, and his love, and all the loss 

To both ; her infant too ; the certain death 

Before the boy and her, unless some help 

Were quickly sent her by a pitying God ; 

And a sharp cry, that tore her heart in twain, 

Burst from her lips, of " Michael ! Michael ! Michael ! " 

This passed, and then she turned her thoughts to God, 

And tried to bend to His her will, and say, 

" Not mine, Father ! oh, not mine, but Thine ! " 

For she was one who loved Him from her youth, 

And sought to follow, and to serve His Christ. 

And then she cried, " My boy, oh, save my boy ! 

For me, if I must die, so be it, Lord. 

I'll lay me down upon this bed of snow, 

And fall asleep, content to wake in heaven ; 

But spare my babe, good Lord, for Michael's sake, 

Nor shatter at one fatal blow the peace, 

The happiness of my dear husband's home. 

'Tis all I ask, Father, all I ask, 

I die in peace, if Thou wilt spare my boy." 






WILFRED RAY. 47 

And then she stripped herself of cloak and shawl, 

Of all in dress she had of soft and warm, 

And laid part in a crevice, 'tween two crags, 

A woollen bed on which the babe might lie, 

And part wrapped round her darling, who then smiled 

Up in her face. Then with a long, long kiss, 

The last that she should ever press upon 

Those rosy lips, she laid him, with a prayer, 

As Moses was committed to the ark, 

Between the spaces of the sheltering crags, 

Where neither snow could reach, nor tempest come ; 

This done, she couched beside him on the snow — 

The white and wintry bed of freezing snow, 

Her only thought to screen him from the wind ; 

Her body flung between her child and death. 

And there she lay till numbing sleep came on, 

And wrapped her in its fatal lethargy. 

Then blacker grew the eve, the shadows fell ; 

The drifts came down on mountain and on moor, 

And drew a dreary pall o'er all the vale. 

Michael this morn had set out somewhat late, 
Detained an hour or more, against his will, 
By visit from the bailiff at the Hall, 



48 WILFRED RAY. 

Who early came to talk about the lease, 

And have it settled without more delay. 

When he was free again — the business done — 

He hurried off at once to meet his wife, 

Hoping to reach the little inn, that crowns 

The Kirkstone Pass, somewhere about the noon ; 

And after resting there awhile with Ruth, 

To leave for home again, before the short 

And wintry-looking day, which threatened storm, 

Closed in, and darkness fell upon the vale. 

Glad was he at the thought of seeing those 

He loved so fondly ; for the three days seemed 

An endless separation to his thought, 

So much he missed them. Lightly then he trod 

The road all hard beneath ; and though the snow 

Began to fall, and though the biting wind 

Blew in wild gusts, and howled across the fells, 

He heeded not the weather, but passed on, 

And onlv thought of meeting at the end. 

So for a while. But thicker grew the air, 

And faster fell the snow, and louder blew 

The wind across the landscape, dark and dull, 

And shrieked adown each ghyll and mountain gorge. 

As if a demon rode upon the blast. 



WILFRED RA Y. 49 

At last his eyes were blinded by the flakes 

That, cold and white, were blown into his face ; 

And as the road was choked up by the drift — 

Stone wall and hedge being level with the path — 

He lost himself, and wandered on the Screes, 

And knew not where he was, or where the way, 

And so stood still, perplexed what next to do ; 

And as he stood there, doubting, on the fell, 

He fancied that he heard a plaintive voice — 

A voice like Euth's, low, pleading in its tone, 

And somewhat smothered, calling three times o'er. — 

11 Michael ! Michael ! Michael ! " He started wild, 

Shuddered, and clasped his hands in agony, 

And shrieked out, "Ruth! Dear Ruth!" Theu, 

"Ruth!"— again, 
11 Where art thou, Euth? " Then waited for reply 
That never came upon his straining ear : 
There was no answer but the whistling wind 
That blew in drifts the falling clouds of snow. 
Then, with a cry hot from his heart to God, 
Moved blindly on, and might have wandered there 
Till lost in some deep pit or treacherous chasm, 
Had not a shepherd's dog, sent out in search 

D 



50 WILFRED RAY. 

Of some poor straggling sheep, crouched at his feet 

And barked, as glad to see a human face. 

The dog he followed — followed numb and cold, 

With aching feet, slow steps, and sinking heart, 

Unto the little inn, where travellers rest 

Who cross the Pass, and which doth proudly claim 

To be the " Highest house inhabited " 

Within the pleasant borders of our isle. 

'Twas evening now, and all was dark and drear; 

The landscape wrapped in winding-sheet of snow, 

Which covered o'er the dead and buried earth. 

And Ruth, where was she ? Ruth, his wife, his life ? 

Where the dear babe that filled his home with joy ? 

Not there. They had not seen, or heard of her. 

Perchance she had not left her father's house, 

But stayed at Patterdale until the storm 

Should pass. Surely they'd keep her at their hearth 

On such a fearful day, nor let her leave 

Until the wild and driving tempest passed ; 

So Michael hoped — so Michael fondly prayed. 

But still he had a sadness at the heart, 

And felt a dreadful fear that blanched his cheek, 

And smote with piercing pain his burning brow. 

Still must he wait, in anguish, till the morn, 



WILFRED RAY. 51 

And pass the long, long night as best he may. 
The storm now somewhat lulled, and the wind fell, 
And the snow ceased, the sky began to clear, 
While, 'midst the rack of scudding clouds, 
A friendly star shone faintly in the blue. 
No bed did Michael press that awful night, 
But by the lonely fire, in thought and prayer, 
He watched the breaking of the wintry dawn. 
Soon as the first faint glimmer streaked the sky, 
He and his host — a man of kindly heart, 
Who made poor Michael's grief his own — the dog, 
Which led him to the inn the night before, — 
Started for Ullswater, along a road, 
Some six feet deep in snow. The morn was calm 
As though no blustering wind had ever blown 
Across the hills, or blast had scourged the clouds. 
Poor Michael ne'er forgot that early walk, — 
That wintry scene, his steps that sank full oft 
In the white drift, the progress slow, the fear, 
The trembling doubt, the agonising prayer, 
The anguish gnawing at his quivering heart ! 
The shepherd-dog ran swiftly on before, 
His pace the quickest o'er the yielding snow. 
Just as they reached the bottom of the Pass, 



52 WILFRED RAY. 

Not far from Hartsop, where tlie little road 

Begins to wind and curve to G-oldrill Bridge, 

He came to sudden pause, and snuffed the ground, 

Then raised his head again, and uttered loud 

A long and piteous whine, that ringing clear 

Through the bright frosty air, smote on the ear 

Of Michael, striking to his faltering heart, 

Until he staggered 'neath the awful dread 

That wrung and tortured him, and brought the sweat 

In drops of anguish on his dizzy brow. 

He never knew with what a frantic bound, 

With what a piercing cry of agony, 

He reached the spot where howled the shepherd-dog ; 

And stooping down, to what at first sight seemed 

A frozen mound of snow, he found his Euth — 

His wife — life of his life — heart of his heart — 

Euth stiff and cold upon her bed of snow ; 

Snow was her winding-sheet, snow wrapped her round. 

Snow veiled her face, now whiter than itself. 

Dead ! Yes, poor Euth was dead ! The mother's love 

Shone forth in sacrifice ; love strong as death, 

Yea, stronger far, and trampling upon death, 

And rising more than conqueror o'er his fear. 

The baby lived, and smiled a faint, sad smile, 



WILFRED RAY. 53 

As they unwound it from its pile of shawls ; 

Then cried in wailing tones and low — poor babe ! 

Lacking the nourishment it used to have 

From the dear mother's breast ; but safe and well, 

And, far as they could see, unhurt, unharmed, 

Spite the dread night it spent amid the snow. 

It was the rescued life of his dear child 

That saved poor Michael from a blank despair, — 

Thanks to that God who planted in his home 

So sweet a flower, to soothe his bitter grief, 

And keep his heart from breaking. Long it was 

Before he lifted up the head, whose hairs 

Had turned to grey, changed by the agony 

Of that one night, — his loss, the crushing grief 

That pressed upon a sad and desolate soul. 

Long, long it was before he could resume 

The customary tenor of his life. 

For flock, and farm, and field, in which he used 

To take so much delight, a burden grew ; 

And though a man of faith and prayer, he found 

It hard to say, " Thy will, not mine, be done." 

Aye, very hard, almost impossible ! 

And had it not been for the grace that fights 

And conquers nature, he had gained no power 



54 WILFRED RAY. 

To bow his head, and say the words at all. 

Long was he restless — ranged the hills, the dales, 

And sought for peace of mind 'midst Nature's scenes, 

Where he met God alone, and prayed for strength 

To suffer, and be patient, nor repine. 

In the church too, so simple, plain, and rude, 

He listened for all words of rest and hope, 

And learned that God is good, that all His ways, 

Though seeming dark, hard to be understood, 

Are full of wisdom, mercy, truth, and love. 

So, though his heart was breaking 'neath the blow, 

And though his flesh was smarting from the rod, 

He bowed his head to kiss the hand that smote, 

And so confessed, " He doeth all things well." 

Her grave, that lay outside the little church, 

Was ever kept fresh decked with fragrant flowers ; 

And here he oft was found, at early morn, 

And in the shadows of the quiet eve. 

So years passed on, and Wilfred, his dear boy — 

Buth's image, with her eyes, and sunny hair — 

Grew from a child to lad, from lad to man, 

And was his father's comfort and his joy ; 

And Michael felt, so long as he was spared, 

His mother's spirit was not lost to earth. 



WILFRED RAY. 55 



PART II. 



The years sped on, and brought full many a change, — 

To some, fair hopes, and promises fulfilled ; 

To others, trouble, opened graves, and loss — 

The pain and sickness of the hope deferred. 

So passed the months through all their circling round ; 

Spring led the seasons on with buoyant step, 

And at her side there tripped the new-born Year ; 

And Summer followed, sweet as morning's breath, 

And clad in robe of many-coloured flowers. 

Then mellow Autumn came, and round her brow 

Was bound a crown of golden ears of corn ; 

And Winter last, his head all white with snow, 

And from whose beard bright icicles hung down. 

Full three-and-twenty summers, in their course, 
Had blossomed into beauty, and then waned, 
Since Michael, that sad winter-day, had found 
His Ruth, in Hartsop, dead upon the snow. 
And Wilfred, then a babe, had grown to man ; 
He was the gladness of his father's home, 
Its brightness and its joy. Never was youth 
More worthy of a parent's fondest love. 



56 WILFRED RAY, 

Though lithe and active, far was he from strong. 

That night upon the hill had left its mark ; 

And he grew up of slender frame and tall, 

Not fitted for the strong athletic sports 

Of northern shires, — the race, the wrestling match, 

The jump ; nor cared he anything for these. 

His was a quiet, meditative mind, 

Large-browed he was, large-brained, and large of heart ; 

From out an honest eye of darkest grey, 

Looked forth no common mind, — one lofty, pure, 

And which, like sensitive and well-tuned harp, 

Responded quick to every skilful hand 

That struck the chords to noble themes, and true. 

He had a painter's eye, a poet's heart, 

A soul that open lay to Nature's spells, 

And drank her lessons in with love and joy. 

All that the Grammar School could give he had 

Of scholarship, and this he eagerly 

Drank in, and yearned for larger draughts — English 

Or Latin, — read all books, or grave, or gay, 

Eomance or poem, legendary tale, 

Or graver matters, as they chanced to fall 

Into hi3 hands. These he would borrow oft 

From kindly neighbour, or a willing friend ; 



WILFRED RAY. 57 

Nay, the great Poet of the Lakes himself 
Had given him from his shelves full many a book, 
And fed the hunger at the young boy's heart 
For learning, so that Wilfred did not starve. 
The Pastor of the parish ruled the school, 
And taught the village boys through all the week. 
When Sunday came, he fed, or tried to feed, 
The flock that gathered in the church's fold. 
A kindly man he was, and scholar good ; 
Eccentric, and with scanty light enough, 
He saw, as one with eyes half purged from film, 
Men as trees walking. But — nor this mean praise — 
He used the light he had up to its measure. 
Far better so than have the sun shine clear, 
And walk in darkness. No divided flock 
Was his. All met together in one house 
Of common prayer, from which a single bell, 
But sweet, rang softly out across the vale, 
And called his charge on Sabbath morns and eves, 
To hear their pastor's voice in prayer and psalm, 
And in the word of exhortation drawn 
From the great Book of God. So here, afar 
From towns and cities, passed he useful days. 
What debt of gratitude does England owe 



58 WILFRED RAY. 

To those whose piety provision made — 

So far as they could compass their desire — 

That in each parish of our isle should be, 

From north to south, from east to west, a man — ■ 

A Christian, scholar, gentleman ; in mind 

Devout, of spirit humble, and of heart 

Enlarged; zealous and self-denying, true — 

Whose one great office it should be to teach 

The ignorant, to soothe the sorrowful, 

Console the sad, to bind up broken hearts ; 

And into sores to pour the oil and wine 

Of heavenly consolation ; welcome too, 

As visitor in homes where sickness threw 

It shadows and its cares ; one who should stand 

By beds on which the dying lay, and words 

Of peace and comfort speak in eager ears, — 

Should hold a Saviour up to hopeless eyes, 

And bid the worst and vilest look and live — 

A man bold to rebuke, and yet whose voice 

Should bear a tender pity in its tones. 

Of such a mind as his who, weeping, spake 

Of the dread doom of all who live in sin, 

The enemies of Christ, and of His cross ! 

Through men like these the Gospel sound has spread 



WILFRED BAY. 59 

Through, all our land, — in vales and dales remote, 

On heath-clad moors and lonely glens, in wild 

And wind-swept hills, and distant nooks, and where 

The storm-tossed sea washes the sandy coasts, 

Where weather-beaten men draw from the green 

And treacherous wave a scant and perilous living. 

Thus have the blessed tidings filled our land, 

And men have heard those high and heavenly truths 

Which hallow life, and raise the thoughts to God. 

And if our England boldly lifts her front 

Amongst the nations, just because she owns 

A peasantry more loyal, virtuous, 

More prosperous, and happy, and content, 

Than that of other countries, may we not 

Affirm from this it springs, that through her isle, 

From sea to sea, in all her parishes, 

A pious ancestry took care to place 

A minister of Christ, who should in word, 

In life, example, illustrate the truth, 

And who, in beauty of fair holiness, 

Should point the way to heaven, and to God ? 

Young Wilfred grew in wisdom and in strength, 
A lover both of nature and of books ; 



00 WILFRED BAY. 

And of the Book of Books a reverent 

And constant student. "Well had Michael sought 

From earliest years to imbue his opening mind 

With loving trust in God, — taught him the ways 

Of truth, of righteousness, of peace, and joy. 

Nor was he scholar only. On the fells 

He helped his father — ploughed, and sowed, and reaped, 

And drew a pleasure from the sights and sounds 

A bounteous nature spread around his home. 

He loved the vernal morn, the balmy day, 

The shimmer of the leaves, the gliding stream, 

The mossy glen, the banks all plumed with fern, 

And the smooth lake that lay in calm repose, 

Embosomed in the hills that rose around. 

He felt the beauty of the fair green earth 

In all its changes under sun and cloud ; 

Or when the moonlight blanched it, and the stars 

Looked down in silence on a world asleep, 

Or when the storm came roaring down the vale, 

Bending the branching pines before its blast, 

Or churning into white and seething foam 

The waters of the lake, and lifting high 

The curling waves, until Winandermere 

Grew like an inland sea — dark, dangerous, wild. 



TflLFRED RAY. 61 

When clashed the elements in fearful war, 

And the loud thunder crashed upon the hills, 

And livid lightning leaped from lurid clouds, 

Then gave he up his spirit to the scene — 

Surrendering himself to time and hour ; 

Now thrilled with awe, elated now with joy, — 

Now filled with triumph, every sense sublimed, 

And drawing from the struggle of the storm 

A feeling deep of rapture and repose. 

Oft stood he with uncovered head amid 

The tempest's rage, and as the lightning streamed 

Along the troubled sky, and thunders crash' d 

As tho' had come the awful Day of doom, 

He lowly bowed a reverent head and said, — 

" My Father's voice ! my Father's voice! How grand ! " 

Up to this time, when three-and-twenty springs 
Had passed full lightly over "Wilfred's head. 
His life had glided on a quiet stream, — 
Unruffled days, and nights of peaceful rest. 
Nothing had chanced to stir the deeper depths 
Of a strong nature on the surface calm ; 
But capable of passionate emotion, 
Intense and keen, and all aglow with fire. 



62 WILFRED RAY. 

He had escaped as yet love's pleasant pains, — 
Its hopes, its fears, its triumph, or defeat ; 
And though the archer sat in many eyes 
Of village lasses, and from thence shot forth 
His arrows, winged with sweet and fond desire, 
He passed unscathed upon his happy way. 
The darts all glanced aside, and made no wound 
In heart that yet was tender as a maid's, 
While strong and manly, as becomes a man. 

Summer had reached its noon, and sweetest scents 
Were blown from fields on which the mower toiled, 
Whetting his scythe amongst the new-mown hay ; 
And roses flushed the hedges, and the air 
W^as balm, when to the little village came 
A widow, with her only living child, — 
A maiden, over whose fair head had rolled 
Some eighteen years. Three more as fair as she 
The mourning mother laid within the grave j 
With many tears, and yearnings of the heart. 
Her husband had been pastor 'niongst the hills ; 
His means but modest, and his wants but few. 
Son of a Dalesman he, whose greatest pride, 
Wliose fondest wish was that a boy of his 
Should pass through college onward to the Church, 



WILFRED RAY. 63 

And holy pastor be— shepherd of flock 

Who should regard him as their truest friend. 

His hope was granted, and his son became 

The father of his people in a cure 

Amongst the mountains, where he lived and toiled, 

And health and strength did wholly consecrate 

To sacred ministries of love. His joy 

It was as true ambassador of Christ 

To lure men from the world, and lead to God ; 

To speak a word in season to the sad, 

And with the pebble and the sling of truth, 

To smite some giant falsehood in the brow, 

And fell it to the earth. Tender he was, 

And true, — a godly man, who felt and lived 

The truths he preached ; and by the eloquence 

Of a good life, whose power was holiness, 

Drew many after him to Christ and heaven. 

As thus he daily walked the world with God, 

As thus he laboured on in all good works, 

There came the call which summoned him up higher. 

" He was not, for God took him " to Himself. 

The parish was the poorer for his loss. 

He had not been ambitious ; nor with him 

Was love of gain an object ; better wealth 



64 WILFRED RAY. 

He liad tlian earthly, — that true godliness 

Which, with contentment, is the greatest gain. 

And so he died at peace with God and man. 

His mourning widow was compelled to leave 

Her happy home, — the only home she knew 

Since that bright summer morn he proudly bore 

Her from the altar as his wedded bride. 

So weeping, with her only child, she said 

" Farewell" to house and scenes endeared by ties 

So firm, so fond, they might be rent in twain, 

But always felt and prized. Her means were small, 

Enabled her to live, and hardly more. 

With, these she sought and found a modest place, 

Where she might spend her latter days in peace. 

Fair home was hers, with rose and ivy wreathed, 

And close to Eydal, near the placid lake, 

Whose waters mirror Loughrigg in their wave. 

Here she and Ellen lived right well content, 

Not seeking any, only sought by few. 

No fairer maid in all the country round 

Than Ellen, and none gentler or more kind. 

A heart as open as her brow, a cheek 

Where rose and lily blended into one ; 

Eyes dark and large, and of a wondrous depth, 



WILFRED RAY. 65 

Liquid and lustrous as the evening star ; 

And glossy hair as shadowy as the night. 

A graceful mien, a light elastic step, 

A heart as tender as her mind was pure ; 

A soul that early had drunk in with joy 

All that is written in the Book of God, 

Of what is good and true, honest and just, 

All lovely things, and things of good report. 

Pensive her beauty — pensive, though not sad ; 

Expression ever varied on her face, 

Responsive to the feelings of a heart 

That all emotions felt of grave or gay, 

Or those that filled the eye with dimming tears, 

Or those that lighted all the face with smiles. 

Ellen and Wilfred met, — were friends at once, 

Kindred their spirits, and their tastes alike. 

They loved the hills, the breezes of the morn ; 

The meadows gemmed with glistening dew, the streams 

That flowing from the mountains sought the lake ; 

Clear moons, and twilight eves, and balmy nights. 

The same with books. Here, too, their tastes agreed. 

The favourite of one was favourite 

Of both ; and many a happy hour was spent 



$6 WILFRED RA Y. 

Under the shadow of a branching elm, 

Which threw its boughs across her mother's croft, 

Reading such volumes, treasures new and old, 

Which friend had lent, or which enriched the shelves 

Of "Wilfred's, or of Ellen's cottage home. 

And what could all this lead to but one end ? 

To Wilfred's life there came an added charm, 

Which made his days one happy, blessed spring, — 

A May-time, redolent of hope and joy. 

And what of Ellen ? Only this she knew, 

That she was happy ; and no thought beyond 

Came in to trouble, or to vex her mind 

Concerning what might come, or what might be, — 

It was enough for her to live, to breathe, 

To drink the air, roam over hills and fells, 

To feel sweet Nature's influence around, 

And walk a world sunned by the smile of God. 

Will Yipont was a statesman's son, and near 
Akin to Agnes — was indeed her cousin, 
Child of her mother's brother ; and their homes 
From childoood were not far apart, a field 
Was all that lay between, where daises grew, 
And where they oft had played, both well content. 



WILFRED RA Y. 67 

Stalwart and tall was Will, good-looking too, 

And fond of rustic sports and games ; cared not 

For books, and played the truant oft from school. 

Well did he love to follow through the brake, 

Or on his native fells the tawny fox, 

With sound of horn, or cry of baying hound, 

And swiftest of the swift to be in time 

To see poor Reynard die. And often too, 

When Autumn amber colour laid upon 

The hills, and changed their green to gold, his gun 

Awoke the echoes with sharp-sounding ring. 

Right fond was he of fishing, and knew well 

Each freshet, and each cool clear pool where lay 

The speckled trout. In temper he was proud, 

Though generous ; gay, full of spirits, quick ; 

Was one who valued not himself below 

His worth, and could not brook to be outstripped 

By others in the race, nor could he stoop 

To take the second place when he might win 

The first. Withal he was infirm of will, — 

Too easily was led ; was over-fond 

Of company, not always of the best ; 

Would sit carousing late into the night 

When jovial fellows gathered round the board. 



68 WILFRED RA Y. 

Poor Will ! He oft was met with, serious looks, 
And eyes, and words full of a grave reproach, 
By Ellen and her mother, and he vowed 
Amendment and reform ; yet still, alas ! 
The reformation was but slow to come. 
From early years his heart had gone with all 
Its force and strength to Ellen. Though he ruled 
All others, he was ruled and swayed by her, 
And owned the thraldom of her voice and will. 
He never thought of her but as his own ; 
He took for granted she would be his wife ; 
Nor would it have surprised him more to see 
The sun stand still from golden noon till eve, 
As once on Gibeon, where it stayed in heaven 
Until the moon with wondering face appeared, 
And shewed herself all pale on Ajalon, 
Than to hear doubt expressed that Ellen was 
To be his wife, and share his future home. 
And yet no word between them ever passed 
Sealing his hopes as true. No vow did he 
Exact, no promise passed his lips or hers ; 
He thought himself secure of what he wished, 
Nor ever sought to sound the slumbering depths 
Of Ellen's feelings even bv a word. 






WILFRED RA Y. G9 

When Ellen's father died, and she removed 

To Bydal, it was just the same. He came 

And went at will. Sometimes he stayed for days, 

At others not so long, but always found 

The welcome of a greeting and a smile. 

It happened more than once that Wilfred IRay 

AVas at the cottage when he came ; and though 

At first his visits gave him no concern, 

Yet when he chanced again and yet again 

To find him there, he liked it not, indeed, 

Felt a dark trouble moving at his heart ; 

And once some bitter words leaped to his lips, 

And anger glowed within his eyes, and shook 

His voice, which, trembling, grew all hoarse and harsh, 

As that of some wild bird, when to his nest, 

Where sits his mate upon her callow brood, 

Comes one intent to harry or destroy. 

Wilfred — for love is quick to see — at once 

Felt, "here is rival for sweet Ellen's love," 

And all his heart grew sick and faint with fear. 

He thought in William's face he saw his doom, — 

That they were more than cousins — more than friends, 

And that they loved; that he for all these months 

Had fed a hope which like the marish fire 



70 WILFRED RA Y. 

Had only lured him on to dark despair. 

And so he left the cottage with a heart 

From which all life was crushed and hope was gone, 

And wandered on until the sun had sunk 

Behind the hills, and silver steams of mist 

Came o'er the valley from the evening dews, 

And darkness drew a veil across the land. 

Then home he went, but not to bed or sleep, 

For all night through he battled with himself, 

And passed the hours in one sore agony, 

Nor let God go until He bless' d him there, 

(As Jacob held the angel at the ford), 

And sought for strength, and grace, and peace in prayer : 

And when the Day-spring fringed the hills with light, 

It found him on his knees, but calm and still. 

Ellen had seen how Will was chafed, had seen 
The jealous fire that burned within his eyes, 
And her quick woman's instinct caught the truth 
At once ; and there came flashing on her mind, 
Like to a revelation, feelings — thoughts 
That hitherto had dormant lain and still, 
As sleeps the lightning veiled within the cloud, 
But ever ready to leap forth in flame. 



WILFRED RA Y. 71 

Then o'er her neck and face rushed the warm blood ; 

And thrilled her heart as she stood quivering there, 

And self-revealed. And now she saw the gulf 

"Which opened at her feet, and on whose brink 

She trembled, dizzy with a dreadful fear. 

Will marked her agitation, and resolved 

To claim her his, at once secure her hand, 

And have her promise she should be his wife. 

And so he pleaded earnestly his suit, — 

Their love from childhood's days, their kinship too ; 

The silent, if not spoken, hopes she gave 

That she was his in heart, and would be his 

In marriage, — pleaded on his knees for this. 

Prayed her to shine within his home a star 

As she already shone within his heart. 

She sat all pale before him as he spoke, 

Sorrow and pity looking from her eyes 

Through tears that gathered there, but did not fall, 

Held back by firm resolve, and self-control, 

And through the anguish of that bitter hour 

Was felt keen self-reproach, that like a knife 

Cuts to the heart, and draws the welling blood. 

" Some months ago it might have been perhaps, 

Not now." This, 'midst her agony, rose clear 



72 WILFRED RA Y. 

Before her mind — not now. It could not be. 

Plainly she saw she did not love the man 

That knelt before her, nor had ever loved. 

No. All she felt was sisterly regard, 

Placid and calm, untroubled by a hope. 

But that great love which, blending into one 

Two spirits, welds, and knits them each to each, 

And kindles on the altar of the heart 

A pure and sacred flame which burns till death, 

She never had for William. This was plain 

To her, and lay before her just as clear 

As lay that sunbeam on the parlour floor. 

And this, as much for his sake as her own, 

She tried to tell him gently as she could, 

With tears that now would flow, and voice that shook 

And broke in telling. William heard with ear 

Which at the first was all incredulous, — 

Could not believe — would not believe ; and then, 

With many a cry, half angry and half sad, 

Broke in upon her words, until at last 

The bitter truth grew slowly on his mind, 

And stung him to the heart, and left his cheek 

All blanched, and big drops stood upon his brow. 

Then maddened by his anguish, passion-tost, 



WILFRED RAY. 73 

He spake words fierce and wild, and loaded her 
With undeserved reproach ; cursed Wilfred Ray, 
And said, " he claimed her his, would make her his, 
Would look upon her as his own till death ; 
And woe betide the man who dared to come 
Between them, or as rival cross his path." 
He left the cottage with a whirling brain 
And burning heart, all reckless where he went, 
W T ith one wish only, that from the dark cloud 
Might burst the thunder, break the lightning flash, 
And strike him dead, and Ellen too^ and Ray. 
Then wretched, stung to agony, and mad, 
He sought " The Eagle," and there spent the night 
With boon companions in a wild debauch. 

Wilfred and Ellen had not met for days, 
Not since the evening when he thought he read 
Within the eyes of both their mutual love, 
He felt that absence was the only course 
For his own peace — fool, blind fool that he was, 
Who hopes had cherished enrpty as the air. 
He now would leave the valley for a time ; 
But where to go he knew not, cared not much 
Indeed. The world was all a blank to him. 



74 WILFRED RA Y. 

He told his father all. They were but one 

In heart and thought. And Michael pitied him, 

And strove to staunch his deep and bleeding wound, 

And shewed him where is balm for stricken hearts. 

His course was taken. At the morning dawn 

AVilfred would be upon his way from home, 

Across the hills to Ullswater, where still 

One uncle dwelt, his mother's eldest brother. 

Then northward o'er the border to a friend, 

Who occupied a little household farm 

Amidst the fertile fields of fair Dumfries. 

This evening he would take a long last look 

Of Eydal, and the home where Ellen dwelt ; 

Not venture near, but from a neighbour's field, 

And where, beneath the sheltering trees, he might 

Be free from observation. As he passed 

Beyond the meadow with its swelling knolls 

Of emerald green, where rise the dark-branched pines, 

And where, upon the charmed eye, a scene 

Of beauty bursts — Loughrigg, the Park, Nab's Scar — 

He started, stopped, and all the tell-tale blood 

Mounted in crimson eddies to his brow ; 

For there was Ellen, seated on the bridge 

That spans the Eotha's clear and rapid stream. 



WILFRED RAY. io 

She was alone, and looking worn and pale, 

White as the rose she wore upon her heart ; 

She saw him coming, started to her feet, 

Sat down again, and trembled as a leaf 

That shivers on the aspen. Wilfred stood 

A moment all uncertain what to do ; 

Then joined her, spake some hurried words, confused, 

And sat beside her on the little bridge, 

And saw the river gliding calm below, 

Reflecting in its stream the rosy light 

That now began to flush the evening sky. 

Scarce knew he what he said ; he spake as thro 1 

A dream, and hardly heard her low replies — 

More gave he words to than he meant at first. 

Until at length, and all unwittingly, 

There came the low confession of his love, 

His hopes, his disappointment, and despair. 

He never knew — all was so sudden, strange, 
Beyond his thought, beyond his wildest dream — 
How came the quick revulsion o'er his mind, 
How passed the anguish, or how rose the hope 
That thrilled him with a joy so keen, it was 
Almost allied to pain. Ah, how his heart 



76 WILFRED RAY. 

Went up in fervent praise to God, who heard 

His prayers, and threw a rainbow o'er the cloud 

Which looked so dark and threatening to his eyes ! 

Yes, Ellen loved him ; with a maiden blush 

Confessed it in a tremulous voice and low ; 

Her soft dark eyes down dropt beneath her lids, 

And bright with tears of happiness, not pain. 

And then they wandered o'er the dewless grass, 

And hand in hand pursued their happy way ; 

The stars came out in heaven round the moon, 

The rapid Eotha rippled with sweet sound, 

Making melodious murmurs in their ear ; 

Whilst in the greenwood-tree the night-thrush sang, 

And all the air was laden with sweet scents, 

And wafted odours from a balmy night, 

Though fresh with eager breath of coming fall. 

It seemed as if at one great sudden bound 

Earth had been passed, and Paradise regained. 

And there was joy that night in Ellen's cot 

And Wilfred's home, for both their parents smiled 

Upon their love, — her mother, and his sire. 

Long hours had passed since Michael's house was still, 

When Wilfred, sleepless, and his bed impressed, 

Threw ope his casement, leaned into the night, 



WILFRED RA F. 77 

And heard the river, and one bird's sweet song. 
Then looked he on the skies aglow with stars, 
And saw the flashing of the northern lights, 
That spread like flame along the cloudless vault — 
A bright Auroral glory like the dawn, — 
And made the heavens a splendour far and near ; 
Then broke his heart in song, but low and soft, 
As singing to himself, with none to hear : — 

Shine on fair moon in the skies afar ; 
Glitter and sparkle, beautiful star ! 
Was there ever on earth such a night as this ? 

Shine, shine ! 
I tremble and thrill with a nameless bliss, 

She told me, my love, she was mine, all mine. 

Sing on, sweet bird, sing loud and strong, 
Flood all the air with your joyous song ; 
My heart it aches with delicious pain, 

Sing, sing ! 
I long to take up, and to catch your strain, 

For I kissed her hand with the little ring. 

Flow, river, flow, glide soft and clear, 
And trickle in music upon my ear ; 



78 WILFRED RAY. 

Is it real, or is it a dream ? 

Flow, river, flow ! 
Let me whisper my joy to your quiet stream, 

For her heart is all miue, all mine, I know. 

Wilfred and Ellen met full often now ; 
But 'midst their happiness a shade at times 
Cross' d Ellen's brow. She thought of William's love. 
And how unconsciously. she had beguiled 
Him into thinking that it was returned. 
This saddened her, this often checked the smile, 
This often laid a weight upon her heart. 
Xor could she e'er forget the words he spake, — 
ik He claimed her his, by silent sanction given 
To love she must have known was always hers ; 
And by the years through which this one hope ran 
A golden thread in all his web of life, 
That he should at the altar make her his." 
" Eemove the thread," he said, and " his would be 
A spoiled and ravelled life, without an aim, 
All tangled, wild, all meaningless, confused." 
She had not thought of this in her first joy — 
A joy so great, like Aaron's mystic rod, 
It everv other thought and care absorbed, 



WILFRED RAY. 79 

And stood out in its magnitude alone. 

But now came memories which, vexed her mind, — 

Perhaps she was to blame ; and William's grief 

Did pain her, and her very happiness 

By contrast made her feel more deeply still 

The utter wreck of his loner-cherished horjes. 

This wrought upon her so, she made resolve 

Never to wed till William should declare 

Her free, or wed himself some other maid. 

Wilfred she would release if he so pleased, 

Nor bind him to a service for her sake 

That might run out the years that Jacob served 

For Eachel. Wilfred did not please. His love 

For Ellen was as true, as deep, as fond, 

As ever stirred within the breast of man. 

Wait seven years ? Fourteen ? Aye, twice fourteen, 

And then feel over-paid by that sweet day 

On which God gave him Ellen as a wife. 

He felt the trial, felt it bitterly, 

But schooled his mind to patience, and prayed God 

To give him all his heart's desire in time. 

So passed the days, the weeks, the months, 
Yet not without sweet solace as they passed. 



80 WILFRED RA Y. 

But seldom "William came, and when lie did, 

His visits were but brief, and left behind 

Much pain and grief to all who loved him most. 

Eumours there were of wild and reckless hours 

Spent with the worst, of drinking bouts held long 

Through night, till morning thro' the casement looked 

And blushed to find a shameless crew still there, 

Debased to something lower far than men. 

Oh, cursed vice ! more cruel than the grave ! 

Oh, shameful fetters, forged in fires of hell ! 

Oh, frightful source of sorrow and disease, 

Of crime, starvation, devilry, and death — 

Our nation's sin, its weakness and disgrace ! 

Scarcely a winter passed within the Yale 

But some man died a victim to this vice. 

At times one drank himself to hopeless death, 

And staggered drunken to God's judgment-bar, 

Uncalled, unmeet, and unprepared to die ; 

At times, in bitter anguish of remorse, 

That tore the heart as with a vulture's beak, 

Because of wife and children slowly starved, 

Or killed by cold, since all his hard-earned wage 

Had gone to feed the publican, furnish 

His house, and help him lead a merry life, 



WILFRED BAY. 81 

Whose mirth was wrung from others' misery, — 
The widow's wail, the orphan's bitter tears, — 
Urged by the pangs of sore remorse, at times 
Some man would rush on death ; and from the Lake 
A ghastly face was drawn — white, wan, and cold — 
Which shrouded in the sere-cloths of the tomb, 
Was laid, with bleeding of the heart, and tears, 
With trembling sorrow in a drunkard's grave. 

William, this autumn, came to Ambleside, 
Reckless in mood as ever, self-willed, wild ; 
Masking a wretched heart in borrowed smiles, 
The wreck of his old self, with hollow laugh, 
That rang all false like base and bastard coin. 
Too often was he found a guest in homes 
Where song, and laughter, and the ribald jest 
Went round, where cups were quaffed, and men drank 

long 
And deep ; and hollow cheeks, and livid lips, 
And drink-blotched faces gathered round the board. 
His brain was hardly ever cool, himself 
A slave to drink, and dead to self-respect. 
One morning, after bout the night before, 

v 



82 WILFRED RA F. 

He took a bright young boy, son of a friend — 

A boy of promise whom he loved right well, 

And made companion of — but not, this must 

Be said, in any of his drinking hours 

Spent at "The Eagle," — well, he took this boy, 

Kesolved to have a day on Windermere, 

And cool with mountain air his fevered head. 

The morn was threatening, dark with heavy clouds, 

And cold with bitter winds that boded storm. 

Friends warned him not to go, to bide within, 

Nor venture on the Lake, which shewed great waves, 

And beat in angry murmurs 'gainst the shore. 

Not he, he would not stay ; he knew not fear, 

Laughed at all dangers, liked the wind and storm, 

And hoped a blast might blow from all the hills, 

And churn the waves to foam, and fill the sails, 

And drive the dancing boat along the flood. 

Yes, Lancelot, the boy, should come along. 

This Lancelot was his mother's only child, 

And she a widow. All her yearning heart 

Was in the lad. He was her age's stay, 

The only tie that bound her to the world. 

Nought knew she of this visit to the Lake ; 

Else would have laid commands on Lancelot, 



WILFRED RA Y. 83 

And kept him with her, but she was not told ; 
And, truth to say, the boy liked well the sport, 
And though his mother's wish had kept him back, 
Yet nothing loth, and fearless of all ill, 
He gladly went with William to the boat. 
They launched, and hoisted sail, and for a time 
The little yacht went gallantly along 
Before the gale, and leaped upon the waves. 
William enjoyed the motion, and the breeze, 
Which brought the colour to his faded cheek, 
And fanned his face, and stirred his pulses, made 
His blood course quickly thro' his stalwart frame ; 
And Lancelot laughed, and shouted in his glee. 

So for a time. But stormier winds arose ; 
A sudden squall came blowing down the hills, 
And wrought the waters into sheets of foam, 
And caught the sails with such an angry blast, 
Smiting the boat so heavily on the side, 
That first she dipped beneath the swelling waves, 
Then turning over, filled, and quickly sank. 
William and Lancelot were both sucked down 
Beneath the surging waters. William rose 
Soon to the surface, battling for his life. 
Good swimmer was he ; with an arm was made 



84 WILFRED RAY. 

To buffet the great waves, and beat them back, 

And use them as strong oars to help him on. 

Need had he now of all his skill ; for tho' 

Not far the shore, the waves were high, the winds 

Were boisterous ; and did not heart keep up, 

A watery grave would claim him for its prey. 

Before he struck out for the shore, he looked 

For Lancelot, but Lancelot never rose ; 

Stunned peradventure by the falling mast, 

Or caught in tackling of the boat, or sail — 

So held by death, that would not let him go. 

"William, for dear life, then struck out alone, 

But never might have reached the land, 

Had not a boat, manned by four gallant men, 

Put out from shore, and brought the needed help, 

And snatching from the waves the exhausted man, 

In safety landed him at Waterhead. 

There many of the villagers had come, 

Fearful and anxious ; and amongst them all 

Poor Lancelot's mother, wan as any corpse. 

" My boy ! my boy ! " she cried, and wrung her hands, 

And as her grey hairs streamed upon the wind, 

And tears fell hot and scalding from her eyes, 

Her shrill voice might be heard n every lull, 



WILFRED RA Y. t 

" My boy ! my boy ! my Lancelot ! save my boy ! " 

And on her knees she sank, and raised her eyes 

To God, and prayed for pity, prayed that He 

Would spare her son, her only hope, her joy. 

When the boat grounded on the strand, she rushed 

With eager step and hungry eyes, to look, 

To search, for one loved object ; and when, alas ! 

She saw that William was alone, a shriek, 

A wail of anguish broke from heart and lips — 

A cry, that in its wild despair rang shrill 

In William's ear for many a bitter day. 

And still, il My boy ! my Lancelot ! " was her cry ; 

And then she swooned, and pitying neighbours bore 

Her to a lonely home, and placed her there 

On bed she never left till carried thence, 

And laid beside the husband of her youth 

In the churchyard that crowns the Chapel Hill. 

The body of .young Lancelot was found 

The day before his mother's funeral. 

One bell was tolled for both, one service read 

For mother and for son. And now they sleep 

Close to each other in one common grave. 

And William, — oh the sorrow and regret, 

The bitter sorrow, and the wild regret, 



86 WILFRED RA Y. 

The self-reproach, the dire remorse, the woe ! 
'Twere vain to picture his great agony, 
Or tell the grief that like a living fire 
Preyed on his heart, and burnt into his brain. 
And better still, when the first horror passed, 
There came a calmer time of penitence, 
And healing tears, and prayers, and cries for grace. 
Then were there smitings on the heart, and sighs, 
As the full rush of shame and sorrow swept 
Across his mind. The boy he loved so well ! 
Was he not guilty of poor Lancelot's death ? 
His mother's too, who, broken-hearted, killed 
By the great desolation of her home, 
Went sorrowing and childless to the grave. 
The Alehouse, how he cursed it in his heart, 
And how he loathed himself for all his sin. 
There was one night he spent in intense prayer, 
In weeping, and in conflict sharp as death. 
From out the dead forgotten past there rose 
The ghosts of sins that shook his soul with dread. 
The buried vice, the long-forgotten scoff, 
The selfish lust, the oath, the drunkenness ; 
And as they came before him at the call 
Of conscience — came, a ghastly company, 



WILFRED RA Y. 87 

Which silent, pointed first to a deathless worm, 

Then shrieking, claimed him for the doom of fire, 

It seemed if hell already had begun. 

With God he wrestled long till break of day ; 

And when the morning looked in at his room, 

His chamber had become a Peniel, 

Where he and Christ had met each face to face, 

And whence he went a humbled, contrite man. 

Soon thoughts of Ellen came across his mind, 
Softened by sorrow ; and as one whom grace 
Had found, he felt there was a duty to discharge 
Without delay. He did discharge it too — 
Discharged it well. To Ellen he told all, — 
His sin, his shame, his penitence ; resigned 
All claim upon her hand, and, with a pang 
Felt at the heart, spake of her happiness 
In Wilfred's love. As for himself, he said, 
His mind was now made up to seek a home 
In the far West, where he might enter on 
A fresh career, and leave behind the dark, 
The guilty past — leave it behind for ever ! 

And Ellen heard through many flowing tears, 
With many a prayer for pardon, had she wronged, 
Or led him on unconsciously to hope, 



88 WILFRED RAY. 

Where hope was none. And so they parted both, 
Nor saw they ever one another more. 

When genial spring returned with vernal flowers, 
And May was in her beauty and her bloom, 
And larks were singing in the cloudless blue, 
And in the woods the cuckoo's voice was heard, 
And hyacinths were trembling in the glade, 
And the sweet primrose scented all the banks, 
One golden morn the village was astir, 
And all seemed ready for a gala clay. 
Neighbours were seen in gossip at their doors, 
The children of the schools, clad in their best, 
Held lapfuls of sweet flowers, or carried them 
In rustic baskets ; on all faces shone 
The bright reflection of some holiday. 
It was the morn when Wilfred was to stand 
With Ellen at the altar as his bride. 
The future lay before them one rich land 
Of promise, where the milk and honey flowed ; 
For they were one in heart, in faith, in hope — 
In all that sheds a brightness on the world, 
Or gilds the far eternity with joy. 
And so she placed her hands in his with trust, 



, 



WILFRED RA Y. 89 

And went they forth from that rude house of prayer, 

With God's own blessing resting on their heads, 

To walk for years in happy bonds of love, 

With children springing round their path like flowers, 

To call them blessed, and crown their marriage joy. 

Then did the gates that open wide for all, 

Throw back their dark but hopeful doors for them ; 

And passing these — Wilfred the first, then Ellen — 

Not long divided by the narrow stream — 

They found the shadowy valley full of light, 

And face to face met soon beside the Throne. 




90 



SONNET. 
ST MARY'S CHURCHYARD, AMBLESIDE. 

fEAUTY still lingers on the evening air, 
With golden Aureole the West is crowned, 
The voice of children is the only sound 
That breaks upon this spot so calm and fair, 
Apt place for meditation and for prayer. 
Ah, as I think of many sleeping here, 
Who were to me amongst the known and dear, 
This Churchyard to my heart is " holy ground ! " 
Sweet thought, " God's Acre ! " Here the eye of faith 

Sees that the tomb with living seed is rife. 
This is to me no place of barren death, 

For here are sown the quickening germs of life ; 
They that are laid here only seem to die, — 
The grave their gate to Immortality. 



91 



SONNET. 

THE SAME. 

, NE sings, " God giveth His beloved sleep ;" 
Jtwik And in this sleep realities, not dreams, 
Are present to the soul, upon it streams 
True blessedness, and rapture full and deep. 
God, 'neath the shadow of His throne, doth keep 
His dead ; upon whose happy spirits gleams 
Light from His face in bright resplendent beams, 
And never more shall they or mourn or weep. 
The sainted ones, each 'neath his grassy ridge, 
Who found it Christ to live and gain to die, 
Know that the grave is but a narrow bridge, 

Which spans the space between the earth and sky, 
That they who o'er it cross the darkling river, 
Have fellowship with God in bliss for ever. 



national $atms. 



95 



"AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA/' 

(Kev. xxi. 2.) 

I fain would for a moment try to cope 
With what it holds for us of happy hope, 
The blessed promise full of melody 
Of John in Patmos — ;i There was no more sea." 






GAZE upon wide ocean's rolling waves, 

1 TO Far as the verge where sea and sky are one, 
And guess the secrets of its sunless caves 

Below the bright green waters fathoms down. 
"What gorges deep ! what hills and vales are there ! 

What wondrous creatures walk the shell-strewn floor 
What wealth of pearl, and gem, and flowers fair ! 

What hidden things we cannot now explore ! — 
And hope of perfect knowledge seems to me 
Borne on the promise, " There was no more sea.'' 

As shapes of life all strange haunt those blue glooms, 
Silent as death, secret, and unrevealed ; 



96 "AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." 

As beauty, valour, strength, have there found tombs, 
And down beneath the waters lie concealed — 

Just so God' s ways are covered by the deeps, 
The light too dim, our eyes too weak to scan 

The wave of mystery that o'er them sweeps, 
And hides them from the ken of mortal man — 

How blessed then when all shall fathomed be, 

And in the future shall be " no more sea." 

" His judgments are a deep," the Psalmist says ; 

"His footsteps are not seen, His paths unknown," 
Past finding out are all His mighty ways ; 

He draws a veil across His lustrous Throne. 
But this shall pass, and we shall see His face, 

And "know as we are known," and in His light 
Shall look into the depths of wondrous grace. 

God's ways shall all lie open to our sight, 
Their mysteries unfolded, when that He 
Fulfils the promise, " There was no more sea." 

The sea ! it lifts its waters up on high, 

Wild tempests o'er its surface rage and swell ; 

Its weltering foam is hurled up to the sky ; 
Its billows curl like seething waves of hell ; 



"AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." 97 

It dashes onward with an untamed force, 

And is with many a wreck and corpse bestrewn ; 

Great ships it drives like playthings from their course, 
Or into gulfs its whirlpools suck them down ; 

The quelling then of lawless might to me 

Breaks thro' the words, " And there was no more sea." 

" The floods have lifted up their voice, God, 

The floods have lifted up their voice," one sings ; 
Proud men rebel, and chafe beneath Thy rod, 

And of their thoughts they boast themselves the kings : 
But Thou, Lord, art mightier far than all. 

" So far, and now no farther," dost Thou say ; 
" And Thou dost blow," and all at once they fall ; 

A word of Thine all lawless force doth stay ; 
So that Thy will omnipotent shall be, 
Gleams in the vision, " There was no more sea." 

The sea ! How turbulent its billows are, 

And full of change. " It cannot rest," 'tis said : 

Now tranquil, calm, now with the winds at war, 
Now moaning wild as one that wails the dead ; 

And ever casting up dank weeds and shells. 
Anon to fury lashed its waters break 

G 



98 "AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." 

In futile anger, as it heaves and swells 

Against the Bock it has no power to shake ; 
And thus a hope of times from unrest free 
These words hold forth, " And there was no more sea.' 

The sea divides, it separates us here 

From those we love, and hold most to our heart : 
It rolls between us and the near and dear ; 

Its cruel waters keep us far apart. 
We gaze across its billows with a sigh, 

In envy of the sea-bird's pinions fleet, 
Wishing to borrow wings that we might fly 

To those we yearn, but yearn in vain to greet : 
But separation never more shall be 
In the bright world "TThere there is no more sea. v 

11 And there was no more sea/' Thrice blessed thought ! 

Xo wreck of life or hope on that fair strand : 
Xo sad " farewells " with bitter anguish fraught : 

Xo change or trouble in that glorious land ; 
Xo billows breaking at our feet in foam ; 

Xo partings of the loved and loving more ; 
Xo heart-sick longings for the old dear home, 

But everlasting unions on its shore, 



"AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." 99 

Circles unbroken — this, and more when we 
Shall reach the haven " "Where is no more sea." 

I think of one wild storm : a darkling night; 

A boat tossed on the waters to and fro ; 
A figure standing in the moon's wan light ; 

A hand upraised ; a loud voice heard to flow 
Along the winds and waves, at whose command, 

" Peace, peace ! be still ! " the winds forget to sigh ; 
The waves sink to a murmur on the strand ; 

In the blue lake are glassed the stars on high, 
And in that scene is pictured forth to me 
The calm eternal " When there is no sea." 

All trouble gone, for mystery no place, 

Rebellion silenced, cruel wrong no more ; 
Instead thereof the light from God's own face, 

Eternal joy, and rest, a tranquil shore 
Where no storm drives, no brawling tempests come, 

And all is peace, and blessedness, and calm ; 
The fair green pastures of our Father's home, 

The river from the Throne and from the Lamb — 
This, and all grace the promise holds in fee, 
This glorious promise, " There was no more sea." 



100 




BEFORE. 

E watched beside her thro' the night — 
Thro' night unto the morning grey, 
Till on the casement smote the light, 
And sudden flashed the day. 



She kept all thro' a silence deep, 
With closed and heavy -lidded eye, 
And murmurs as of one asleep, 
And now and then a sigh. 

Oh, passing sweet she was and fair, 
A fragrant lily in its prime, 
That fed on honey' d dew and air, 
And blossomed for a time ! 

Her two white hands extended were 
Upon the little snowy bed ; 
The rippling of her golden hair 
Made a grlorv round her head. 



BEFORE. 101 

The little lamp we lit at night, 
Which faintly burnt with dull red glow, 
Scarce broke the darkness with its light, 
Or shewed the bed of snow. 

It stood upon a table near, 
It nickered low, it flickered high ; 
"We wondered, with a strange sad fear. 
Which life should soonest die. 

One now threw back the window pane, 
The close-drawn curtains were withdrawn ; 
There came a smell of fresh' ning rain 
From off the fragrant lawn. 

And in the dim and dewy grove, 
The sweet birds piped from every bush ; 
'Midst glistenicg boughs sang songs of love — 
Sweetest of all, the thrush. 

We did not speak or move the while, 
Fast held in wonder to our place, 
Watching a rare and radiant smile 
Transfigure all her face. 



102 BEFORE. 

But hushed, and awed, and very still, 
We prayed in thrilling silence near ; 
And down our faces flowed at will, 
Unchecked, the burning tear. 

When all at once, as we stood there, 
There rose a sudden, startling cry, 
That stayed our weeping, checked our prayer, 
As it came ringing by. 

She started forward on the bed, 
She raised her trembling hands on high ; 
The paleness from her face had fled, 
Now flushed with ecstasy. 

Her eyes were lifted up to heaven, 
Her parted lips did gently stir ; 
We felt Christ, and the Spirits seven, 
Communion held with her. 

Her look of rapture grew and grew, 
As tho' before her wondering sight 
There stretched the way she must pass thro', 
All lined with angels bright. 



BEFORE. 103 

Our hearts were filled with deep'ning awe, 
We dared not move, or speak a word ; 
We knew she saw what no one saw, 
And heard what no one heard. 

So for a space the rapture lay 
Upon her glowing cheek and brow ; 
And dawnings of a brighter day 
Seemed breaking on her now. 

The arms relaxed, a shadow stole 
O'er quivering lip, and cheek, and brow ; 
We knew full well the golden bowl 
Was being broken now. 

I clasped her gently to my breast, 
And held her closely there, until 
The aching head had sunk to rest, 
The tossing arms were still. 

The glory soon was past and gone, 
The light went slowly from her eyes, 
Though still beneath their lashes shone 
A look of sweet surprise. 



104 BEFORE. 

We knew that she had passed away 
From the awe upon her whitening face ; 
That now her happy spirit lay 
Fast clasped in Christ's embrace. 

Who called her to His home above, 
And drew her to His happy side ; 
Where now they walked in perfect love, 
The Bridegroom and His Bride. 



10c 




AFTER. 

HID my face, I spake no word, 
I fell upon the bed and wept ; 
And there, while nothing moved or stirred. 
Shaken by grief I slept. 



I slept at first a restless sleep, 
With throbbing heart and aching head ; 
For even slumber's self did keep 
Some memories of the dead. 

I dreamt. The sorrow passed away, 
I wept no more, no longer sighed, 
Though in the chamber where she lay, 
And where that morn she died. 

Methought I saw her after death, 
And knowing well that she was dead ; 
And yet no terror choked my breath, 
Or bowed my wondering head. 



106 AFTER. 

I saw her now a spirit bright, 
Freed from the weak and mortal frame, 
And clad in raiment all of light, 
Which flashed like lambent flame. 

The form that lay there stilled in death, 
That bent before his cruel power, 
Was but the fair and outward sheath 
That held the fragrant flower. 

She met my gaze with such a look, 
That to my very soul did thrill ; 
And all my beating pulses shook, 
And all my heart stood still. 

A yearning look was in my eye, 
I felt that she was leaving me ; 
I cried, " Oh, let me also die, 
That I may go with thee ! " 

While thus I spake, a voice I heard, 
Come ringing down the heavens afar ; 
And sweeter sounded every word, 
Than song of Morning Star. 



AFTER. 107 

She turned to hear the voice that spoke, 
And glowing rapture filled her eye ; 
And as upon her ear it broke, 
Her glance was raised on high. 

She passed at once upon the way 

That leads through depths of dazzling light, 

To worlds where everlasting day, 

Place never gives to night. 

I saw her gliding up on high, 
Where burning suns in glory move ; 
I saw her mounting thro' the sky, 
Drawn by the force of love. 

Her path lay thro' the star-strewn skies, 
By argent moon, keen, bright, and clear ; 
Orb after orb flashed on her eyes, 
Globed each in silver sphere. 

Thus held she on her upward way, 
On to the heavenly gates afar ; 
At length beneath her feet there lay, 
Both sun, and moon, and star. 



108 



AFTER. 



And still she kept her upward flight, 
Until she reached the happy place, 
Where God dwells in the perfect light, 
And shews His awful face. 

Thro' Heaven's door there poured a flood 
Of melody and thrilling song ; 
And, bathed in glory, there she stood, 
Close to the shining throng. 

And One stepped forth to meet her there, 
A crown upon His kingly brow, 
With dazzling eyes and radiant hair, 
And face with love aglow. 

He took her to the Fountain's brink, 
Whence flow the living rills of light ; 
And, stooping down, I saw her drink 
The waters pure and bright. 



I heard the six-winged Seraphim, 
As they beheld her forward come, 
Pause in their loud adoring hymn, 
To bid her welcome home. 



AFTER. 109 

Christ led her then beneath the shade 
Of the green mystic Tree of Life, 
Whose fragrant leaves fall not, nor fade, 
Whose boughs with fruit are rife. 

She plucked with joy the blushing flowers, 
That grew in happy gardens there, 
And never wither as do ours. 
But bloom for ever fair. 

And there I saw the streets of gold, 
And sea of glass that burned with fire, 
And starry gates their doors unrolled, 
As He led her ever higher. 

I heard the holy angels cry, 
One to another, as they sang, 
In strange delicious melody, 
That thro' the heavens rang. 

I heard her voice amongst the choir, 
I knew it well from all the rest ; 
And as she struck her golden lyre, 
Methought it sounded best. 



110 AFTER. 

And still she moved 'midst rainbow dyes. 
Along the crystal floor of heaven, 
Full in the Day of Paradise, 
Which never wanes to even. 

And so Christ led her ever on, 
Thro' bending ranks of angels bright, 
Until she stood before the throne, 
There lost within God's light. 

So passed she from my straining eyes : 
And then I woke with sudden start. 
Full of a sweet, tho' sad surprise, 
And throbbings of the heart. 

Alas ! I woke to weary day, 

To see her lying on the bed, 

Where white, and calm, and still she lay, 

Amongst the blessed dead. 

But from my aching heart had gone 
The bitter anguish and the pain ; 
I said, " God, Thy will be done, 
I ask her not again. 



AFTER. Ill 

I would not, if I could, dear Lord, 
Recall her to this world of woe ; 
Nor might I, could I speak the word, 
Draw her from Thee below. 

No ! Let her live before Thy face, 
And roam about thro' pastures fair ; 
Patient I'll tarry here a space, 
Then seek her with Thee there." 



112 



" NOT UNCLOTHED, BUT CLOTHED UPON. 




H, not unclothed, my heart recoils from this, 
And turns all trembling from the loathsome 



grave ! 

But to be clothed upon, ah, this were bliss, 
And this, God, I crave ! 

I love this happy life and all its joys, 
I love the sunshine, and the warmth, and light, - 
The summer woods, the river's rippling voice, 
And all things fair and bright. 

I love the song of birds in leafy trees, 
That sit and warble sweetly all the day ; 
I love to catch the whispers of the breeze 
As through the boughs they play. 

I love the bleat of lambs amongst the hills, 
The hum upon the wind of passing bee ; 
To hear the lark which all the silence fills 
With thrilling melody. 



11 NOT UNCLOTHED, BUT CLOTHED UPON." 113 

'Tis sweet to stray through fields where flowrets blow, 
Or wander thro' the meadows, cool and green, 
To watch the shadows as they come and go 
Across the starlight keen. 

'Tis sweet to see affection's beaming look, 
The smile of ready love, unbribed, unbought : 
To read as in a fair and open book, 
Each pure and holy thought. 

I still would feel a wife's and child's embrace, 
The clasp of friendly hand strong, staunch, and true ; 
And gaze into a loving, gentle face, 
As now I fondly do. 

I would not be unclothed ; I would not die, 
Wept for a space, perhaps, with bitter tear ; 
Then mouldering in the lonely grave, to lie 
Forgotten, tho' so near ; 

Out in the cold, when warm fires burn and glow, 
And happy faces gather round the hearth, 
And peals of merry laughter come and go, 
Whilst I lie deep in earth. 



114 "NOT UNCLOTHED, BUT CLOTHED UPON." 

Oh, not unclothed ! my God, save me, I pray, 
From the dire sting and bitterness of death ! 
come Thyself, and bring the Advent day, 
Whilst yet I draw my breath ! 

Oh, not unclothed, but rather clothed upon, 
With that immortal house Thou hast in store, 
When the frail earthly tent is taken down, 
And laid by evermore ! 

Oh, for the lot of that great Saint of old, 
Who in the body went to be with Thee, 
Eapt on a sudden to the heavenly fold, 
From death set ever free ! 

Take me like him for whom the burning car 
Swept down the firmament with splendour bright, 
Gliding along the sky like some fair star, 
And flashing on the sight. 

But if this may not be, and die I must, — 
If over me the solemn words be said, 
" Ashes to ashes, dust to kindred dust," 
Then, Lord, be with Thy dead ! Amen. 



115 




"I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY." 

'XLY a little tired, — yes, that is all ; 
Only a little wearied, nothing more ; 
I fain would turn my face unto the wall, 
And catch the music from the other shore. 

All that I long for is to be at rest, 

For if I could, " I would not live alway ; " 

And so, with folded hands upon my breast, 
I wait till God's own chimes ring in the day. 

Nought wish I for, but just to fall asleep — 
To close my weary eyes upon the light ; 

And tho' there's much that I might long to keep, 
I yield all up, and gladly say, " Good night.' 7 

Not that my lot was shadowed by much pain, 
Or bitter made by trouble or by tears ; 

I dare not venture, if I would complain, 

Since joy and hope out-balanced grief and fears. 



116 "I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAYS 

I think my life was happy on the whole, 

Unnumbered mercies cheered my pilgrim way ; 

And as I now take counsel with my soul, 
I see that sunshine gladdened many a day. 

Blessings were thickly scattered on my road, 

With countless gifts my brimming cup was full ; 

Sweet flowers sprang up around the path I trod, 
Which I had only to stoop down and cull. 

And I have dear ones whom I love full well, 
Who lie close as it pulses to my heart ; 

No words of mine can ever justly tell 

How of my life they made the dearer part. 

Oh, never think, my own true faithful wife, 
Or children, friends, your love I do not prize ! 

It, with a rainbow, spanned the clouds of life 
And struck a chord of music from its sighs. 

Grateful I am for all you richly gave 
Of pure affection, and unselfish love ; 

It soothes me now as I draw near the grave, 
'Twill be a memory in heaven above. 



"J WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAYS 117 

And if from heart that loves you, I confess 
I long to leave this for the other shore, 

It is not, dear ones, that I love you less, 
'Tis only that I love my Saviour more. 

Then do not wonder if I truly say, 

Tho' looking o'er a past, serene and bright, 

"I would not, if I could, live here alway," 
Or walk by faith, when I may walk by sight. 

Nor pray, dear friends, to keep me longer here, 
Your prayers may check the eager spirit's flight ; 

And, do not, as ye love me, shed a tear, 
'Tis only after all a short "good night." 

Weep not for me — tired only — that is all, 

Only a little wearied, and no more ; 
" Good night," — I turn my face unto the wall, 

I hear the music from the other shore. 



- C-O^H ^ 



118 



A DIRGE. 

SmGHS? HY sleepeth she ? Are there not voices calling, 
jy^WrJR Bidding her to them as they used of yore, 
In loving tones and sweetest accents falling 
Along the sounding shore ? 

Why stayeth she ? The starlight softly lieth — 
The starlight which she loved on mead and hill ; 

While through the depths of heaven the white moon 
hieth, 
And all is calm and still. 

Why lingereth she ? Her step once lightly bounded, 
Brushing the dew-drop from the opening flower ; 

Her voice amidst the gay, all gayest sounded, 
Pich in its youthful power. 

Then say, why sleepeth she? She's gone for ever; 

Oh, she is dead ! our breaking hearts are sore ; 
We call her, but at our fond bidding, never 

Shall she awaken more. 






A DIRGE. 119 

Alas ! that she, who filled our home with gladness, 
And made earth blessed, should thus early die ; 

Turning our life in blank and dreary sadness, 
Into one long-drawn sigh. 

And yet, why murmer we ? She has been taken 
Far from the evil which is yet to come ; 

And not a tear can from her eyes be shaken 
In her Elysian home. 

There, with her Father in yon radiant heaven — 
There, with her Saviour, pillow' d on His breast ; 

All gifts that God can give to her are given, 
And peaceful is her rest. 

Let us not weep, then, with a hopeless sorrow, 
Nor cherish thoughts of an unmingled pain ; 

But rather wait the dawning of that morrow, 
When we shall meet again. 

The glorious morn, when clothed in radiant lustre, 
The saints that sleep in Christ, to life shall rise. 

And far outshine the brightest stars that cluster 
Upon the sapphire skies. 



120 



LIFE OR DEATH. 




»HE people thro' the Churchyard go, 
The Living thro' the Dead — 
The Dead that sleep so calm below, 

Each in his narrow bed. 
The Living, full of hopes and fears, 

The Dead, so quiet and so still ; 
The Living, weeping bitter tears ; 

The Dead, beyond the reach of ill. 
The Living, needing cure and balm, 

With weariness within their eyes ; 
The Dead, with faces all so calm, 

Not vexed with sorrow or surprise ; 
Their lot removed from loss and pain, 
And aching thoughts and throbbing brain. 

Ah, which is best — to live and weep, 
Or in the grave with Christ to sleep, 
No scorn or wrong to wring the breast, 
Or break the tranquil spirit's rest ! 



121 



DYING WORDS. 

"When I am dead, think of me as in the next room. It is the 
same house, only one is to the back, and the other to the front. " — 
Lady Augusta Stanley. 



Il< 



jEABEST, when I have passed from earth away, 
x4.nd from my glass has run out all the sand, 

"When you no more shall see me day by day, 
Or feel the loving pressure of my hand, 
And I have gone into the shadowy land, 

I ask for this, — you will not say me nay — 
That memories of me be free from gloom, 
Oh, " think of me as in the other room ! " 



Sorrow not overmuch, nor greatly weep, 
Mourning because I am amongst the dead ; 

Eather believe I only am asleep, 

And dreaming sweetly on a painless bed, 

Where God has smoothed the pillow for my head, 

And bright-winged angels watch around me keep. 



122 DYING WORDS. 

Let no thought ever link me with the tomb, 
But " think of me as in the other room." 

11 The other room " — the house is just the same ; 

The chambers vary as regards the place — 
One lieth to the front, where all aflame 

The sky is glowing with the sun's bright face ; 

The other, to the back, has dimmer grace, 
Set also in a smaller meaner frame. 

But still, as both are in our Father's home, 

11 Think I am only in the other room." 

I know, beloved, my loss will make you sad, 

I know full well you cannot choose, but grieve ; 
But think of all the blessedness we've had. 

home, more happy than I could conceive ! 

God, who in my lot such bliss did weave ! 
love, for twelve sweet years which made me glad ! 

Why should dark sorrow all your life consume 

When I but pass into " the other room" ? 

True, often in the gathering shades of night, 
When sitting by our dear hearth all alone, 
Your heart will ache, because you think the light, 
The bloom, from off your life has passed and gone, 



DYING WORDS. 123 

And left it joyless, colourless, and wan, 
Bereaved of all you say did make it bright. 
But let your mind its calm and peace resume, 
And " think of me as in the other room." 

And when you feel aweary of the strife 

With sin and sorrow, falsehood, wrong and pain, 

Wishing for one who used to cheer your life, 
Whose joy it was to comfort and sustain, 
And help you bear the pressure and the strain, 

Whose dearest thought is this — she is your wife, 
Will it not bring the light back to your home, 
To si think that I am in the other room" ? 

And when a silence broods o'er stair and hall, 
Unbroken by a voice you loved to hear, 

And when I answer not, although you call, 
Yet still believing I am very near, 
This one sweet thought will check the rising tear, 

And hold it on the cheek before it fall, — 
I may step any time from out the gloom, 
Being so near you in " the other room." 

11 The other room," Beloved, not far away, 
For though removed a little from your sight, 



124 



DYING WORDS. 



I shall be ever near you, day by day, 

And when the evening darkens into night ; 
And surely it will be a strange delight, 

Which all my pain and grief will overpay, 

To wait the " little while," till you shall come, 
And join me in our Father's " other room." 



125 



SONNET. 
A DYING WISH. 

"That is what I should like— serving continually. Oh, I trust 
there will be work for me where I am going ! "— Lady Augusta 
Stanley. 

f0 HEY gathered round her on her dying bed, 
fcwll W nere sne was P^ced death-stricken, where 
she lay 
In pain and anguish, many a weary day, 
After all hope of health had ever fled. 

The tide of life was ebbing fast away, 

Nor had she any wish on earth to stay ; 
To what God pleased at once she bowed her head, — 
" His will, not mine, be done," she meekly said ; 

She had not lived for self and selfish gain, 
But for the sick, the troubled, and the poor ; 

Her hands had ministered to soothe their pain, 
Her lips had gently taught them to endure ; 

It was her joy to comfort and sustain, 
And staunch the bleeding wounds she could not cure. 



126 



SONNET. 
THE SAME. 

^®HE long had yearned for perfect rest and 

^Sy^ peace ; 

Her heart had gone before her to the skies, 

To which she turned uplifted, wistful eyes, 
Hoping that God would give her quick release ; 
For there the pangs of anguish ever cease, 

Sin is no more, nor bitter tears, nor sighs, 

But joys and pleasures of God's Paradise, 
Which thro' the ages ever shall increase. 

But most of all because her love was true, 
Ardent and deep, longed she to be with Christ ; 

And with this strong desire another grew, 
And nought but this her craving soul sufficed, 

Hence her last words, " When all things are 
made new, 

Will there be work for Him that I can do ? " 



127 



LAST WORDS. 

" That is what I should like — serving continually. Oh, I trust 
there will be work for me where I am going ! " — Lady Augusta 
Stanley. 

g|Jj|OTJ speak of " rest," this will indeed be sweet, 




g$B> Ease for the aching heart and throbbing brain ; 
No more the sickness, or the fever's heat, 
The bitter anguish, or the wasting pain. 
Oh, to lie ever in my Saviour's breast ! 

Never to weep, or feel a pang again ! 
Nothing to mar, nothing to break my rest ! 

But, to content me, " rest " itself were vain ; 
Nay, even streams of pleasure ever flowing, 
" I trust there will be work for me where I am going." 

Tou speak of " glory," and it will be bliss 

To see the City shining in God's light ; 
And lying here, I often think of this, — 

The gates of pearl, the walls of jasper bright ; 
But were this all, a something I should lose ; 

In endless service is my true delight, 



128 LAST WORDS. 

And this the blessedness that I would choose ; 

For what, tho' splendours flashed upon my sight, 
And heaven to me was all its wonders shewing, 
"Were there no work for me to do where I am going ! " 

You speak of "joy," and rapture it will be 

To take the harp and celebrate His praise ; 
To stand where flames the bright and crystal sea, 

And sing the new sweet song — its notes to raise 
Beneath the shadow of the rainbow' d throne ; 

To magnify my Saviour's works and ways, 
And all His mercies and His love to own ; 

But not with song would I fill all my days. 
Burns there a wish, like flame within me glowing, 
" I trust there will be work for me where I am going." 

It has been dear, God knows how dear to me, 

The blessedness of serving Him to prove, 
A lowly handmaiden of His to be, 

And by thy side in service sweet to move, 
So, day by day, to do His holy will. 

Pleasant to us these ministries of love, 
Pleasant the happy hours with work to fill, 

Ah, this was joy all other joys above ! 



LAST WORDS. 129 

Canst wonder then this thought is in me growing, 
11 Will there be work for me to do where I am going 



9 " 



Sweet work we had, Beloved. To tend the poor, 

To soothe the sorrowful, console the sad ; 
To bind up broken hearts, the sick to cure, 

To dry the weeping eye, make mourners glad ; 
To guide the sinful and the wandering home, 

Stoop to the fallen, deeming none too bad 
For Him who bids the very worst to come, 

And who for deepest sores a balsam had. 
And as there was a reaping after sowing, 
" God give me work to do for Him where I am going ! ' 

What ministries are there — ah, who can say ! 

What possibilities of work for those 
Who never weary, " rest not night or day," 

Whose labour is not toil, nor needs repose. 
Ah, as they climb new heights of glory still, 

And heaven upon their vision ever grows, 
And fresh unveilings of the Father's will, 

What forms of service shall not Grod disclose ! 
The current of my hopes to this is flowing, 
"I trust there will be work to do where I am goino;." 



130 



SONNET. 



RESIGNATION. 



ASK, Father, in this hour of woe, 
k§&KJ -^"°* *° esca P e the anguish and the pain, 

The breaking heart, the aching wearied brain, 
The wasting grief, — not this I ask, — Oh, no ! 
I only pray that Thou wilt mould me so 

As Thou wouldst have me — fashion me again ; 

Yea, keep me in the furnace till each stain 
Be burnt away, and till within my heart 
My Saviour sees His own fair counterpart. 

I pray that I may meekly kiss the rod 
That cuts into the flesh with bitter smart ; 

And bow me humbly at Thy feet, God ! 
Yea, bow till I can say with Thine own Son, 
" Not mine, Father, but Thy will be done ! " 



131 



"IS IT WELL WITH THE CHILD?" 

"Is it well with the child ? It is well." 

$ij~g|HKEE dreani-like years, and only three, 
<pj§ He blessed our home with love ; 

And then he passed away from earth, 
To the home of God above. 

He lay so very calm and still, 

We did not know 'twas death ; 
And thought we heard through parted lips, 

The stirrings of his breath. 

But when the truth flashed on our mind, 

Our eyes grew dim with tears ; 
"We had not whispered to ourselves 

This close to all our fears. 

Dear boy ! he looked so sweet, so fair ! 

And round his forehead white, 
Clustered the curls of golden hair, 

Like an aureole of light. 



132 " IS IT WELL WITH THE CHILD?" 

We wept ; we could not choose but weep, 
So sore our hearts with pain ; 

And nature's bitter cry was this : 
" Oh, give him back again ! " 



We did not think he could have died, 
We hoped when hope was o'er ; 

We fondly thought the little life 
Would be our life once more. 

The world so empty seemed, — so blank 

Without the little one, 
Who gave to life its grace and bloom, 

And to our home its sun. 

We never knew so well before 
How much we loved the boy, — 

How in our heart of hearts he lived 
Our fondest hope, our joy. 

We had not thought his gentle voice 
So much had cheered our way, 

Or that his eyes had been the light 
Of our brief marriage-day. 



ft 



"18 IT WELL WITH THE CHILD?' 133 

We knew it then as he lay there, 

We know it more and more ; 
We feel the world can never be 

What it was to us before. 

But all is well, our God is good, 

This truth we both believe ; 
We sorrow not without a hope, 

Not unconsoled we grieve. 

God haply may have known that we 

Had loved him all too well ; 
And so He took him from our arms, 

To heaven with Him to dwell. 

God may have seen his future lot, 

All shadowed o'er with shame, 
And kindly saved him from the world, 

While pure and free from blame. 

And so we say that " It is well," 
Through eyes with weeping dim ; 

For though he'll not return to us, 
Yet we shall go to him. 



134 



ft 



SONNET. 

AUGUSTINE. 

> UGUSTIXE, Scholar, Father, holy Saint, 
"Walked by the sounding ocean on the shore, 
Turning in thought grave problems o'er and o'er, 
To which he gave his soul without restraint, 
Until it grew with musing sick and faint. 
And as his baffled heart felt sad and sore, 
A child he saw that rose-lipped sea-shell bore, 
Which, with an action earnest, and yet quaint, 

He filled up from the wave. Then in his hand 
He carried it, with happy laugh and leap, 

And poured it in a hole scooped in the sand, — 
11 1 mean to empty into this the deep." 

i i Thus," thought the Saint, "God's mysteries so 
grand, 
"Would I within my mind compress and keex>." 



135 




SONNET. 

THE SAME. 

stand we on the shore and brink of time, 
>)l4 Close to the borders of eternity, 
Across whose vast illimitable sea 
Sweep echoes of the everlasting chime, — 
Voices from that mysterious awful clime 
No foot of man hath trod, no eye can see, 
Home of the Three in One, the One in Three, 
To which, if any creature dared to climb, 

The blaze of splendour there would strike him blind. 
And yet vain man the Godhead would explore, 
His essence, — future, present, and behind, — 
Into his shell he would this Ocean pour. 

But can we hold Him in our narrow mind, 
Who Was, and Is, and Is for evermore ? 



136 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 



'T was the golden harvest-time, 

Ifij The fields stood thick with corn ; 

The valley blushed with clustered vines, 
Purple and red as morn. 
But though the vintage ripened stood, 

And harvest fields were white, 
No hand was placed amongst the grapes, 
Nor flashed the sickle bright. 



ii. 
No song was heard from field or fold, 

Nor echoed from the hill ; 
The land was silent all as death, 

As gloomy and as still. 
The Philistine was in the land, 

And kept it far and wide ; 
His armies seized fair Bethlehem, 

And held it in their pride. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 137 

III. 
They roamed about in armed bands, 

And pillaged far and near ; 
And in the homes of Israel 

Was bitter dread and fear. 
They drove the oxen from the stall, 

The cattle from the plain ; 
And in the dark and deadly fray 

Left many a brave man slain. 

IV. 

The king knew well the fearful straits 

In which the people stood, 
And how in terror they had fled 

To den, and cave, and wood. 
So David leaves his royal state 

To help his trembling men ; 
He hopes his presence will recal 

Their courage back again. 

v. 

He marches onward to the fight 

With a lion-heart and bold ; 
His noble eye has still the light 

That it had in days of old. 



138 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

He summons to Adullam's cave, 
AYitk trumpet loud and clear, 

The noble and the gallant souls 
To whom the right is dear. 

VI. 

He buckles on his sword and shield, 

And dons his armour bright ; 
And, trusting in the living God, 

Comes down to head the fight. 
He dares to stand against a host, 

Xor turns his face away ; 
The Lord Jehovah is his boast, 

Xo foe can him dismay. 

VII. 

He fears not man, nor living thing, 

Xor shrinks from battle-field ; 
He loves to hear the clash and ring 

Of broadsword and of shield. 
And so against the Philistine 

He mingles in the strife, 
And, in the ghastly battle, strikes 

For honoured death or life. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 139 

VIII. 
And now he gives the signal, 

Is first to hurl the dart ; 
And sweeping onward with his men, 
Like rush of river through a glen, 
Or tiger springing from his den, 

Cleaves many to the heart. 
The deadly conflict thus begins, 

Commences thus the fray ; 
And the king, from break of morning, 

Fights bravely through the day. 

IX. 

Nor backs he from the battle, 

Nor draws he from the fight ; 
His arm is nerved with vigour, 

And his eye is full of light. 
Many champions fall before him, 

Many warriors bite the ground ; 
The slain are piled in ghastly heaps, 

And the dying lie around. 

x. 
See how grand he looks and stately, 
See what courage on his brow ; 



140 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

Not a man that he encounters 
But before his feet doth bow. 

Mark you how he stands so proudly, 
Firm as any towering rock ; 

On his shield, unmoved, receiving 
All the foemen's fiercest shock. 

XI. 

Hear ye how his voice is lifted, 

Clear as any trumpet's tone, — 
" Strike for God, and strike for Jewry. 

For your country, king, and throne.'* 
Loudly then his men make answer, 

Quick responding to his call ; 
And his words wake noble echoes 

In the hearts of one and all. 

XII. 

Not for all the gold of Ophir 

Would a man who heard him speak, 

Have retreated from the battle, 
Life or safety thus to seek. 

No ! they bravely rallied round him, 
"With a kindling cheek and eye, 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 141 

Each resolved to win the conquest, 
This their purpose — or to die ! " 



XIII. 

For their hearts beat high within them, 

Theirs is valour strong as death ; 
Clenched their teeth and set their faces, 

Firmly now they draw their breath. 
Then, as some wild tempest rushes 

Down the wintry mountain's side, 
Dash they onward in their fury, 

Nought can stem the furious tide. 



XIV. 

Onward press these noble soldiers 

In a goodly, gallant band, 
Till they meet the armed foemen 

Foot to foot, and hand to hand. 
Many knights and many captains 

Go down in the bitter fray ; 
Many soldiers, stout and manly, 

Close their eyes upon the day. 



142 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

XV. 
But at noon the battle slackened, 

In the heaven the sun was high, 
Pouring down his rays upon them 

From a fierce and burning sky. 
Then there came a pause in fighting 

All along the battle-field ; 
And each warrior loosed his helmet, 

And unlaced his buckler-shield. 

XYI. 

Then their slain they quickly bury, 

Laying them in bloody grave ; 
And with words of bitter sorrow, 

Mourn the valiant and the brave. 
Soon the hurried rites are over ; 

And the men who fought so well 
Are laid down in peace and honour 

In the places where they fell. 

XVII. 

Then the weary soldiers stretch them 
By the hill, and rock, and plain, 

Waiting till the trumpet shrilling 
Calls them to the fight again. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 143 

And the king, with fight exhausted. 

Fainting is, and sick with thirst ; 
From no spring the waters trickle, 

From no rock the fountains burst. 

XYIII. 

Comes there now before his vision, 

Bubbling up a limpid pool, 
Which, near Bethlehem's Eastern portal. 

Gushes clear, and sweet, and cool. 
In this weary hour of langour 

Throbs his heart and burns his brain ; 
And he yearns with passionate yearning, 

Fain would taste that well again. 

XIX. 

Grows up in his heart a longing, 

As of one about to die ; 
And the passion of his anguish 

Takes shape in a thrilling cry, — 
11 God ! that one would give me water 

From fair Bethlehem's sparkling well, 
Which lieth near to the city's gate, 

Where my fathers used to dwell ! " 



144 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

XX. 

And then he paused ; in haste he spake, 

He knew that this fond wish was vain ; 
Those cooling waters might not slake 

The fever of his heart and brain. 
The Philistine kept all the town, 

And held the Eastern gate ; 
He that would force this garrison, 

Must meet a bloody fate. 

XXI. 

But still there passed before his eyes 

Fair dreams of pastures green, 
Where once he kept his father's flock, 

When a shepherd he had been. 
And the sound of a trickling streamlet 

Fell like music on his ear, 
And mocked his hot and burning thirst 

With dreams of water clear. 

XXII. 

Three mighty men of David's band 
Were standing at his head ; 

Not one of them or felt or knew 
A thought of craven dread. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 14* 

They heard King David's deep desire, 

They saw his longing glance ; 
And each man's bosom burned with fire, 

And each man grasped his lance. 

XXIII. 

They will themselves to Bethlehem go, 

And from the bubbling pool 
Will bring their weary master back 

Some water fresh and cool. 
But how can three, however great, 

Break through a host of men ? 
How, matched against such fearful odds, 

Can they return again ? 

XXIV. 

Surely they hasten to their death, 

These noble men and brave ; 
O'erpowered by numbers, they will fill 

A stark and bloody grave. 
But, see ! like whirlwind on they dash 

Across the spreading plain ; 
Their path is marked by stir and crash, 

And hundreds of the slain. 



140 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

XXV. 

The foe gives way, they speed right on, 

They reach the city's gate ; 
Before their swords the garrison, 

Meets with a bloody fate. 
Onward they dash, and all the way 

Is marked by heaps of slain 
Who fall, as to the sickle falls 

The ripe and bearded grain. 

XXVI. 

So pass they onward to the place 

Where the Well of Bethlehem lay ; 
Each step upon a foeman's corse, 

Whose body marks the way. 
Now, quickly stooping down, each takes 

The helmet from his brow, 
And dips the great and hollow casque 

Where the cooling waters flow. 

XXVII. 

They fill the helmet from the spring, 
But not a drop themselves they taste ; 
Xo time there is to lose or waste, 
Thev hurrv back in hottest haste 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 147 

To bear it to the king. 

Now march they on, nor does the foe 

Place hand on sword or spear ; 
They all fall back to let them pass, 

Held fast in coward fear. 

XXVIII. 

But they curse them by their father's gods, 

Cursing beneath their breath ; 
And on their brows sits scowling 

A hate as grim as death. 
And their craven souls are daunted, 

And they dare not lift a hand 
'Gainst the valiant three, who scorn them 

In the places where they stand. 

XXIX. 

Now all this time king David 

Knew what his warriors dared ; 
And anxious for their safety, 

Prays God their lives be spared. 
Now feels he all his rashness, 

Now sees he was to blame ; 
And his face it glows like scarlet, 

With a blush that owns his shame. 



148 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 

XXX. 

What if these men should perish — 

Fall o'erpowered by the foe ? 
Can he e'er forget his folly 

That wrought them such a woe ? 
As the king is rapt in silence, 

Rings a shout throughout the tent — 
Thrilling shout of men who conquer, 

And the air around is rent. 

xxxr. 
'Tis the welcome of the soldiers, 

As the chiefs return again ; 
All their armour stained and gory 

From the life-blood of the slain. 
With joy the three draw near the king, 

And at his feet themselves they fling ; 
While again the shouting thousands 

Make the sounding welkin ring. 

XXXII. 

They place the helmet in his hand, 
Filled with the waters cool, 

Which at risk of life, in the deadly strife, 
They bring from Bethlehem's pool. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 149 

What ! will the king not taste them ? 

Will he not quench his thirst ? 
No, his heart grows hot within him, 
And it swells as though 'twould burst. 

XXXIII. 

Silently he takes the helmet, 

Reverently looks up to God ; 
And the casque he turneth downward, 

Pours the waters on the sod. 
For though burning thirst consumes him, 

And the fever fills each vein, 
Yet the waters fresh and cooling, 

Won at such cost and pain, 

xxxiv. 
Look like the blood of the mighty men, 

The chieftains three, who bravely burst 

Thro' the serried ranks of the foe accurst, 

And daring all to do their worst, 
Stormed the foeman in his den. 
So he pours the dear- won waters 

Upon the grassy sward ; 
And he offers them in solemn prayer 

An oblation to the Lord. 



150 THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 



XXXY. 

' ' Far from me, Lord, be such a thing, 

That I should drink so dear a draught, 
'T were all unworthy of a king ; 

'T would be as tho' hot blood I quaffed — 
Blood flowing from the hearts' warm spring. 
This water is the very life — 
The life of those who in the strife 

Did jeopardise their all for me ; 

Did risk their life and liberty. 
Forbid it, God, in Thy good grace, 
That I should do a thins: so base ! " 



XXXVI. 

He turned to thank the captains 

Who braved so much for him ; 
Who, at his lightest wishes, 

Had faced the battle grim. 
To them he gives the station, 

The nearest to his throne ; 
That they well deserve such guerdon, 

The people freely own. 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 151 

XXXVII. 

And the king himself men honour — 

Honour more than e'er before, 
Since in his hour of trial 

So well himself he bore. 
And David holds for ever dear, 

These warriors true and bold — 
These men who, scorning craven fear, 

Stormed Bethlehem's mighty hold, 

XXXVIII. 

Their names were woven into song, 

Men kindle at their deeds ; 
And e'en the strong man grows more strong 

As he the story reads. 
God in His book records their name, 

And ranks them with the great and brave, 
To whom belongs eternal fame, 

Who dead, yet speak from out their grave. 

XXXIX. 

The world has heroes, whom it gives 
A niche within the house of fame ; 

The record of their prowess lives 
From age to age the same. 



152 



THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM. 



But God has His own heroes too : 
Men strong to suffer, great to do — 

Men who are able to control 
All impulses of flesh and soul. 

XJL. 

Great men who live, yet daily die, 

"Who noble conquests win ; 
Their worser self who mortify, 
Their body's deeds who crucify, 

Triumphant over sin. 
No greater men, I trow, than these, 
Who never seek themselves to please, 
Obedient to a higher will. 



XLI. 

Who count their gain but utter loss, 
Content to bear the shameful cross, 

And when God speaks are still ; 
And they who their own spirits rein, 

WTio keep their selfish passions down, 
Are greater far than those who gain 
Battles, at cost of many slain, 

Or take a fortress' d town. 



153 



THE LAW OF LOVE. 

' Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."— 
Gal. vi. 2. 

" IjiJM^R J e one another's burdens/' 
|m| And fulfil Christ's law of love, 

That divinest law which brought Him 
From the spheres of light above. 

" Bear ye one another's burdens," 
Take up something of the load ; 
Seek to cheer a fainting brother, 
Help him kindly on the road. 

Soothe the weary and the troubled, 

As heart- sick they toil along ; 
Hush the bitter cry of sorrow, 

Change its wailing to a song. 

As ye pass yourselves to heaven, 

Pause to bind some bleeding wound ; 

And with words of grace and mercy 
Lift the fallen from the ground. 



154 THE LA W OF LOVE. 

You can speak a word in season 
In some sad and hopeless ear, 

And revive the failing courage, 
By inspiring hope for fear. 

You can dry the tear of sorrow, 
From the lids of weeping eyes ; 

You can ease the burdened spirit, 
Draw forth music from its sighs. 

You can watch the bed of sickness, 
Take the fevered hand in thine ; 

Smooth the pillow, cheer the suffering, 
With a cordial strong as wine. 

You can bring a gleam of sunshine 
To some poor and lonely home, 

And be welcomed as an angel 
When across the door you come. 



You can check the hasty answer, 
Press the word beneath your breath, 

So as not to hurt a brother 

With what pierces sharp as death. 



THE LAW OF LOVE. 155 

You can share another's gladness, 
With the weeping you can weep ; 

And if thus } T ou sow in mercy, 
You in mercy too shall reap. 

Think of Him who came from Heaven, 

Left God's bosom for the Cross ; 
Came in tears and nameless anguish, 

To redeem us from our loss. 

Not with light and glory came He, 
Not with pomp, and song, and state ; 

Not to courtly hall or palace, 
Not to mansions of the great. 

Not a voice was raised in welcome, 
No one hailed Him at His birth ; 

Every door was closed against Him, 
When love drew Him down to earth. 

Oh, what goodness ! Oh, what mercy ! 

He our burdens came to bear ; 
Drank the cup of God's sore anger, 

Left no drop for us to share. 



156 



THE LAW OF LOVE. 



Love of Christ, that law so noble, 

Love so tender, so divine, 
Law so Godlike, love so perfect ; 

Let that love be yours and mine. 

Love of all laws is the greatest ; 

11 Love fulfils the law," Paul saith, — 
Crowns her Queen of all the graces, 

Thrones her 'bove both Hope and Faith. 

Love is duty's full completeness, 
Substance of all goodness, Love ; 

Love is true, and only meetness 
For the saintly life above. 



Then fulfil this law so Christ-like ; 

Nought is higher ; nought is more ; 
Love will last when time has perished ; 

Law of Heaven for evermore. 



157 



L I RE. 

lt |t)'HE shuttle fiashing quickly thro' the loom, 
The shadow of a cloud upon the hills, 
The flowers that perish almost ere the bloom, 
The sparkle and the gleam on summer rills, 
The lightning, flame-like, leaping thro' the gloom, 

The foaming cataract which rainbows span, 
The falcon, poising in its airy flight, 
The sudden darkness of a southern night, — 
All these are emblems of the life of man. 



. 



158 



DEATH. 




PHE shadows lengthening on the level lea, 

The darkness gathering round the closing day, 
The sun that setting sinks into the sea, 
The workman wending homewards on his way, 
The birds that sit all mute upon the tree, 

Sere leaves that shrivel 'neath the wind's sharp breath, 
The stillness of a world fast locked in sleep, 
AVhen not a murmur breaks the silence deep, — 
All these are Nature's parables of Death. 



159 



SONNET. 
A PICTURE. 

gyg^AIiM is the evening of the summer day, 
(LME A golden glory flushes all the sky, 

And near the sun bright rosy cloudlets lie, 
Steeped in the lustre of his parting ray. 
King David, aged, sorrowful, and grey, 

Sits on his palace-roof alone ; his brow 

Eased of his crown, which lies neglected now 
Close at his feet. His thoughts are far away, 

And follow with his wistful, straining sight, 
A flock of milk-white doves, with glistering breast, 

That fly into the liquid sea of light, 
And cries he, as they haste toward the west, 

" Oh, that I had the dove's swift wings of flight, 
Then would I flee away and be at rest ! " 



160 



SONNET. 

ASPIRATIONS. 

m ~ H, for the swift wings of the rapid dove, 

That, piercing thro' the depths of yonder sky, 
I might at once attain the realms above, 
And taste the joys of immortality ! 
I yearn to reach the angel-choirs — I long 

To mingle with their bright and happy throng ! 
I thirst to gain that fair and distant home, 

Where sin and sadness never more may come ! 
The weary heart would leave this world of night, 

And cast aside the burthen of its woes, 
It fain would bask within the living light, 

Which from the throne of God for ever flows ; 
For sorrow's wave may break — never more, 
Upon the marge of heaven's eternal shore !" 



161 




mm 



SONNET. 
RIZPAH. 

H, mother's love, how strong thou art, how true ! 
Five weary months sat Eizpah by her dead, 
The sackcloth-covered rock her only bed, 
From which she rose her watching to renew, 
And cared not whether fell the evening dew, 

Or burning sun beat hotly on her head, 
So long as her two sons, exposed to view, 
Hung on the cross. "With quick, unsleeping eye, 

She drove the lions from their hoped for prey, 
And scared the vultures, swooping in the sky ; 
And ever thro' the lonely night and day 
She, at life's risk, chased bird and beast away, 
For love's sake, willing she herself should die ; 
On her crushed heart such burden did she lay. 



162 



SONNET. 



A PENITENT. 



" Godly sorrow worketb. repentance unto salvation, not to be 
repented of." 



z^^" 



gfflVfc HEEE but to Thee, Jesu, can I fly ! 
^UsJ^JK My guilt is like a sea without a shore, 

"Which none can fathom and no eye explore. 
I smite upon my breast, with many a sigh, 
And feel like one almost at point to die. 

My heart is bruised, it bleeds at every pore ; 

Sick unto death, wounded and aching, sore, 
What can I do but weep, as here I lie ? 

Yet, oh, how sweet, how bitter, bitter-sweet, 
If, with these copious, ever-flowing tears, 

I could, like Mary, wash Thy blessed feet, 
And feel a hope that trembled thro' my fears ! 

To touch Thee, hold Thee, this were joy complete — 
The joy of saints in yonder happy spheres. 



163 



NAOMI. 

«SWO sad-faced women, haggard, worn, and wan, 
^J^y^ Passed wearily thro' Bethlehem's sun-scorched 

street ; 
The city, moved to pity, round them ran, 
And some with wondering cry the strangers greet, 
" What: Is this Naomi ?" She quickly broke 
Upon them trembling, as they thus began, — 
" Call me not Naomi," she weeping spoke, 
" For Naomi is numbered with the dead ; 
My name is Mara, for, friends, with me 
The Lord hath dealt exceeding bitterly ! 

The hand of God has touched me, and I mourn, 
Has robbed me both of husband and of son, 
Woe worth the bitter day that I was born ! 
My prop, my stay, my life of life is gone ; 
I went out full, empty come back to you, 
A widow, childless, desolate, forlorn, 



164 



NAOMI. 



The graves in Moab hold my dead heart too, 
I left it with them where they sleep in peace. 
So from my years has gone the sun, the light, 
I grope as one thro' some dark dreary night." 







165 



HEART-STRUGGLES. 



"5 *r* P 

1 




F© 



KNOW I must be patient, so I try 
To say, His holy will, not mine, be done ! 
But if in mercy I might only die, 
And hide away in darkness from the sun, 
Which hurts me with its hot and garish light, 
I should be happy ; for I do but sigh 
To bid the world a long and last good night 
Before another morrow hath begun ; 
To front the sad and woeful coming years, 
'Tis this unseals the fountain of my tears. 

'Tis this I feel so hard — so hard to bear, 

To die were easy, yea, to die were gain ; 

To walk the valley, with His presence near, 

This were no bitterness — 'twere bliss, not pain, 

Smiling I'd creep into my lowly bed, 

And say to all " Farewell," without a tear. 



166 



HEART-STRUGGLES. 



But to live on, when dearest hopes are dead, 
To gather up life's broken threads again, 
When Death on Love, with cruel foot hath trod, 
This, this is bitter, my God, my God ! " 



167 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 



SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE BY DORE. 



ttfcff 



aMWf ITH a s ^- ar P cry of pain she left her couch, 
pjjw^ And, when her white foot touched the marble 

floor, 
Stood, with dilated eye and burning cheek, 
And hair that all unbound flowed darkly down, 
Pale, scared, and still. One small hand pressed her 

brow ; 
The other, clenched so tightly that the nails 
Pierced the pink palm, fell stiffly at her side. 
A moment thus she stood like statue carved 
In marble : rigid, hardened into stone, — 
Blanched as the surf upon the wild sea- shore, 
When the waves break in foam upon the rocks. 
Then, in a broken voice that shook with fear, 
She called her trembling maidens to her side. 
They flocked around her, like a flock of doves 
AYhen fluttered by a hawk seen in the blue. 



168 THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 

From many chambers they came running all, 
And gathered near her with a sudden dread 
That shook the ruddy colour from their cheeks. 
She tried to speak, and could not, for no voice 
Would follow at her bidding : the deep storm 
Of passion choked it in the swelling throat. 
With one great effort she grew calm ; and now 
Her words, clear and distinct, thrilled on the ear, 
And held the listeners spell-bound with their thrall. 
" Oh, maidens, such a night ! oh, such a dream ! " 
She, trembling, paused, then hurriedly went on : — 
" Oh, tell me ; said they not, that late last night 
Jesus, the Man of Nazareth, whose fame 
Has filled all ears, by one of His own friends 
Betrayed, was by our soldiers ta'en, and led 
To Pilate's judgment-hall, for that He made 
Himself a King, opposing Caesar's claims ? 
Some say this Jewish people sought His death 
Because He spake some blasphemy against 
Their God. I know not this. I saw Him once, — 
A mien of mournful majesty, a face 
All marred, yet noble, and alight with love. 
He moved along attended by a crowd 
Of poor, diseased, and sick, — a piteous throng 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 169 

Who came for healing, and for blessing too, 
And fonnd them both. Some of His words 
Have been to me repeated, and they fell 
Upon mine ears more musical than song : 
Of ' rest' they were, — rest to the weary, — rest 
To laden ones, the sinful and the sad. 
Say, maidens, is't not so?" 

YTith wondering voice 
They murmured in awe-stricken tones and low, 
14 Yea, Lady; yea ! " 

In passionate words she spake : 
" Pilate did send me word he was to sit 
Upon the judgment-seat to-day, and hear this cause. 
A nameless horror chills me to the heart 
As I forbode the sentence he may give ; 
Tor he does hold this people in contempt, 
And laughs to scorn the customs of their law ; 
And if this Jewish Teacher hath said aught 
Against great Caesar's rights, — which I, for one, 
Believe not, for His eye had that far glance 
Which said His heart was with the gods, — not here. 
But if His claims should seem to clash with Caesar's, 
Alas, I know that Pilate would condemn !" 
Her maidens answered : " Yea, he would condemn ; 



170 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 



For he is loyal to the world's great lord.'' 

" But listen, maidens, while I tell my dream. 

Methought a street, filled with a savage crowd, 

Whose shouts and curses jarred upon the ear 

As they did toss from angry lip to lip 

One hated name, and gnashed and ground their teeth 

And yelled, ' Away with Him ! Away with Him ! 

He is not fit to live,' they cried, — ' Not fit to live ! ' 

And shrieked out, i Crucify Him ! Crucify Him ! ' 

And women's voices mingled with the hoarse 

Deep bass of men, and cried in piercing tones, — 

' On us, and on our children, be His blood V 

I looked to see the object of their hate, — 

Who He could be that all men joined to scorn. 

Now swayed the surging crowd, and all at once 

It opened, and I saw there in the midst 

A face all j>ale and wan, beneath a brow 

Crowned with a circlet of Acanthus thorns. 

It might have melted hearts of hardest stone 

To see the man, Jesus the Nazarene, 

Weak, faint, and worn, stooping beneath a cross 

Which pressed His shoulders ; yet with such a look, — 

A look so calm in its sublime despair, 

If gods could suffer, He might be a god 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 171 

Come down in shape and form of mortal men. 

Yet no one pitied Him, and no one blessed. 

Still rang the streets with that fierce bitter cry, — 

1 Away with Him ! away with him to death ! ' 

I tried to speak : no words would come ; 

They died upon my lips in muffled sounds. 

But e'en as though the prayer that on my tongue 

Battled for utterance had been shrieked aloud 

And pierced His ears, to me He turned His face 

AVith such a glance, so sad, yet so divine, 

That gathering up my strength, methought I tried 

To rush into the maddened crowd, and kneeling, 

Plead for sweet pity's sake. I could not stir ; 

Limbs, feet, were rooted to the spot ! Then came 

A voice, — His voice, — came thrilling on my ear, 

Shaking my heart with terror as I heard 

One word — one name. 'Twas ' Pilate ! ' and no more. 

A thousand echoes caught the word, and all 

The babbling air repeated ' Pilate ! Pilate V 

Methought I swooned in horror ; and it passed, — 

That fearful vision, — to the darkness whence 

It came to fill me with a nameless dread." 

She wept. She bowed her head, and wept hot tears 
That welled up from a heart was like to break, 



172 THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 

And all the woman shook as she would die. 

Her maidens, awed, aghast, stood weeping, too, 

In broken words trying to soothe her grief. 

But all in vain. And now once more she spake, 

Lifting a face distained and wet with tears. 

u So for a time ; and then from out my sleep 

Came other shapes and forms, all indistinct 

And vague. Then clearer images did grow 

Upon my sight, up from the darkness drawn, 

Until I saw what I shall bear to death, 

So stampt is it upon my burning brain, 

A memory to carry to the grave ! " 

She paused : she pressed her brow, as she would beat 

Some anguish back ; her eye the while ablaze 

With a strange burning fire ; and then again 

In tones so piteous, low, and full of pain, 

It seemed a wail from out a broken heart, 

She poured her dream into her damsels' ear. 

" Methought a surging crowd, a burning sky, 

A little hill outside the city walls, 

And on the hill three crosses planted close, 

On these, nailed to the wood, three dying men. 

But one alone, — the central cross, — drew heart 

And eye, absorbing every thought ; for here 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 173 

He hung, — the Man of Sorrows, whom I saw 

Hurried to death along the city's streets. 

All white His face with agony, and stained 

With blood that flowed in big and crimson drops 

From the sharp crown was twisted round His brow. 

The cruel nails had pierced the hands and feet 

And fixed them to the tree : and oh, the look 

Of woe that filled those sad, pathetic eyes ! 

Men mocked Him as He hung there, — laughed and 

jeered : 
' Come down, come down,' they cried, ' and save Thyself 
An' if thou be God's Son !' And when there wailed 
Upon the ear a piteous cry, ' I thirst, ' 
They gave Him gall and vinegar to drink ; 
And flung into His dying face fierce oaths 
And cruel curses, and rude jests and jeers. 
But He — He heeded not, — spoke not — was dumb. 
Perhaps He heard not, for His thoughts seemed far 
Away, as if they were in heaven with God. 
And as I looked, longing to speak to Him 
Of comfort, and to wipe from off His brow 
The death-sweat, — say one heart there was that felt 
For Him, — one that would save Him if she could, 
But had no power ; no power ! — His eyes met mine, 



174 THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 

And in that piteous face I saw the look 

That I had seen across it pass before ; 

And all my soul grew faint and sick with fear. 

Into that moment passed whole years of pain ! 

Then, as I looked, my heart all in my eyes, 

There fell a sudden darkness on the world. 

Blotting the sun out, — spreading o'er the skies, 

Veiling the Sufferer in its night-black pall, — 

Stilling the murmurs round the blood-stained cross. 

And now the hush of death lay on the land : 

A silent horror settled down on men ! 

As though the world stood still in its great course, 

And Nature's pulses came to sudden pause. 

Wondering I stood, — scarce breathing, filled with fear, 

Dreading what next might follow, what befall ; 

When from the darkness rose a cry so dread, 

So full of anguish, that it seemed to tear 

The tortured heart, and rend it into twain. 

Then a dire tremor shook the earth, the rocks : 

'Twas cry of one forsaken of His God, — 

A bitter cry that thrilling wailed to heaven. 

And with that cry, to me, all shuddering, 

There came another word — a name, — spoken 

This time by whom I knew not, but as sharp 



THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 175 

As knife that draws the blood. The word was ' Pilate !' 

And once again a thousand echoes caught 

The name, and all the sounding air was filled 

With shrilling voices, crying, l Pilate ! Pilate !' 

Methought I caught it up, and shrieked it out 

As one who had no power of self-control. 

I woke, and on my lips was ' Pilate ' still. 

And then I started from my bed, and called 

You maidens all, to help me in this hour 

Whose fellow I have never known, and pray 

The gods that I may never know again. 

Help ! what help can ye give ? What help ? what help ? 

What means this dream ? Is it a warning giv'n 

By Powers that wait on good ? What should I do ? 

Am I to stand 'tween Jesus and His doom ? 

Am I to save my husband from the guilt 

That would condemn the innocent and just ? 

It must be so ! Yes : Pilate must be warned, — 

Aye, were he sitting on the judgment-seat, — 

Not to give up this man unto the will 

Of his fierce enemies, nor listen, no ! 

To clamours of this Jewish mob for blood. 

Pilate, no matter what the cost, the right 

Must do for once, and let the expedient go ! 



176 THE DREAM OF PILATE'S WIFE. 

Haste ye, dear maids, and send to him with speed 

A messenger, qnick-footed, trusty, sure, 

And rapid as the wind. Tell him to bear 

This message to my lord without delay : 

1 See thou have nought to do with that just Man, 

For I, thy wife, this day in fearful dreams 

Have suffered many things because of Him. , " 

Frighted and pale, the maidens, trembling, flew 
To give the message to a faithful slave 
That waited near. Without delay he sped. 
Fleet as the flash that lights up all the sky 
When thunder crashes from the blackening cloud, 
So sped the slave to Pilate where he sat 
In judgment on the Man of Nazareth ; 
To warn him not to harm the just, or think 
That water could wash blood from guilty hands. 
And she — the wife — all faint and white, sank prone 
Upon her silken couch ; with sickening fears, 
And beatings of the heart that shook her frame, 
To wait in agony the dreaded end. 



177 






LIGHT AT EVENTIDE. 

" At evening-time there shall be light."— Zech. xiv. 7. 

§WOEDS of hope ! tliey fall upon the ear 
Like holy music floating from a Psalm, 
Sweet as are far off bells that ring out clear, 
Healing as was of old fair Gilead's balm. 
What can the unknown future be but bright, 
If thus, i( At evening-time there shall be light." 

I feared the morrow, what the coming years, 
Of trouble on my lonely life might shed, 

And how the end might come, with peace or tears, 
Yea, coward-like, I shrank with nameless dread 

From what the day might bring, from what the night, 

Oh shame ! a At evening-time there shall be light." 

For late in gloom and mist had lain my way, 

Through gathering storms, and wildly driving rain, 

And clouds had darkened o'er my happy day, 
And I had trembled with foreboding pain. 

M 



178 LIGHT AT EVENTIDE. 

Fearing to face what must and would be right, 
Since thus, " At evening-time there shall be light." 

faithless heart ! What fearest thou ? Be still, 
The future is with Him who guides thy way, 

Whose promises with peace thy soul should fill, — 

" According to thy strength shall be thy day." 
Then walk by faith, soon shalt thou walk by sight, 
Fear not : " At evening-time there shall be light." 

1 do believe, Father ! Saviour ! God ! 
Though troubled oft, I will not be distrest ; 

Nor will I faint, but boldly face the road, 

And on Thy love my weary head shall rest, 
Thy Word each fear and care shall put to flight, 
I know " At evening- time there shall be light." 

The sun that often struggles all the day, 

With clouds that darken o'er the dull grey sky, 

At setting poureth forth a golden ray, 

And floods the heavens with glory far and nigh, 

So all my fears shall vanish — hope be bright, 

And at my " evening-time there shall be light." 



179 




NIGHT AND MORNING. 

; ' Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning 
cometh, and also the night." — Isa. xxi. 11, 12. 

ATCHMAN, what of the night ?" he cries, 
Who, stretched on a bed of pain, 
Worn, and weary, and restless lies, 
With fevered heart and brain. 
When will the dreary hours go past ? 
Oh, when will the night be gone ? 
Would God that the morning might come at last ! 
Would God the day might dawn ! 
The Watchman says — " No signs as yet of day are in 

the sky, 
But morning comes ; a little while, and the darkness 
passeth by. 

" Watchman, what of the night ?" he sighs, 

Who, sick with a hope deferred, 
Looks eagerly up through weeping eyes, 

To catch the Watchman's word. 



180 



NIGHT AND MORNING. 



When will it come, the joyous day, 

And bring with it peace and rest ? 
When will the darkness speed away, 
And light return to the breast ? 
The Watchman says — u Night lingers still, but soon 

the morn shall dawn. 
Be patient yet, and hope in God, for the daybreak 
hasteneth on." 

u Watchman, what of the night ?" he moans. 

Who, pierced with a rankling dart, 
Wails for his sin with weeping and groans, 

And the cry of one sick at heart. 
Is there no medicine to heal the soul ? 

No balm that will give it peace '? 
No charm that can charm away its dole ? 
And bide the sharp anguish cease ? 
The Watchman says — " Weep on, weep on ; such 

sorrows healing bring. 
God loves to see such holy tears; thou yet shalt laugh 
and sing." 



i; Watchman, what of the night ? " he cries. 
Who, in the long ages of woe, 



NIGET AND MORNING. 



181 






Sees the shadows ever gather and rise, 

And knows they never shall go. 
11 What of the night ?" is his cry of pain, 
As he looks through the coming years, 
Looking for comfort, but all in vain ! 
For nothing shall staunch his tears. 
The "Watchman says — " No ray of light shall ever reach 

thy soul, 
But ever and ever shall deepen the night, and its 
shadows round thee roll." 



" Watchman, what of the night ?" he says, 

Who longs for his Lord's return, 
Waiting until the Day of Days 

On the mountain tops shall burn. 
Oh, say when on my yearning sight 

The Day Star shall arise, 
And banish away the gloom of night 
With splendours of Paradise ? 
The Watchman says — " The morning comes, the hills 

are all aglow ; 
Prepare, prepare thy Bridal Song, for soon the darkness 
will go." 



rgtmts. 



185 




ADVENT. 

. ^OME, gracious Saviour, manifest Thy glory, 

And let Thy lightnings shine from east to 
west; 
Oh, by Thine anguish 'neath the olives hoary, 
Take us, Thy people, to Thy promised rest ! 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 

Our eyes are weary watching for Thy coming, 

Watching thro' glare of noon and gloom of night ; 
Hoping the morn may bring Thee, or the gloaming 
May see Thee bursting on our happy sight. 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 



186 ADVENT. 

How long shall stay the bitter strife and sorrow, 

And wrong have triumph o'er the true and right?. 
Oh, come, and coming, bring the better morrow, 
Whose noon shall never darken into night ! 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 

Come, for we fain would hear the distant thunder, 

As roll the wheels of Thy triumphal car ; 
We long to see Thee cleave the clouds asunder, 
And dawn in splendour as the Morning Star. 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 

Come, gracious Lord, our longing eyes to gladden, 

Arise ! oh, Sun of Righteousness, arise ! 
Let hope deferred our hearts no longer sadden, 
But turn to songs our sorrows and our sighs. 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 






ADVENT. 187 

Oh, come and cheer the eyes all dim with weeping, 

Banish the sin, the sorrow and the strife ; 
Let those who sow in tears now have their reaping, 
Their golden harvest sheaves of light and life ! 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 

Then shall we worship Thee with joy and singing, 

And laud Thy name all other names above ; 
The world throughout with praises shall be ringing, 
And we shall swell the triumphs of Thy love. 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 

All glory to the eternal Three in heaven, 
To Him who was, and is, and is to be ; 
To Christ, the Saviour, and the Spirits seven, 
Be honour now and through eternity. 
Come, blessed Jesus, 
Come, come, we pray ; 
Banish the darkness, 
And bring the glorious day. 



188 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 




'UR Christmas song come let us sing, 
SSfctffik And raise the anthem high ; 
Come let our joyful praises ring, 
Thro' earth, and air, and sky. 



We celebrate the Saviour's birth, 
Who bowed the heavens down, 

In pity for this sinful earth, 

Drawn from His Father's throne. 

He came not here in royal state, 
As monarchs come to reign ; 

No pomp did on His steps await, 
Nor had He princely train. 



No trumpet loud proclaimed His birth, 
None hailed Him Lord of Lords ; 

No honours welcomed Him to earth, 
No harpers struck the chords. 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 189 

No palace opened wide its doors, 

And bade Him freely come, 
That He might tread its stately floors, 

And make its walls His home. 

The world was hushed in silence deep, 

Unmindful of its King ; 
And locked in heedless, selfish sleep, 

No offering cared to bring. 

The air was calm, serene the night, 

The dew like pearls was sown ; 
The stars were burning clear and bright, 

The moon was on her throne. 

Thro' fragrant fields the snowy flocks 

Were pastured here and there, 
By limpid stream, and shade, and rocks, 

Beneath their shepherds' care. 

Then came there shining from afar, 

Adown the purple skies, 
An Angel gliding like a star, 

And flashed upon their eyes. 



190 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 



But shook their hearts with trembling dread, 

As the vision bright they saw ; 
Fear bent their knee and bowed their head, 

And filled their minds with awe. 

The Angel speaks sweet words of peace, 

Which thro' their spirits ring, 
" Let fear and trembling ever cease, 

To you glad news we bring. 

To you is born this very night, 
In Bethlehem's favoured town, 

A Saviour, full of grace and might, 
And heir to David's throne." 

Then came a sudden blaze of light, 

A sudden burst of song, 
Which charmed the ear of listening night, 

And flowed the heavens along. 



And now the skies were all aglow 
With angels bright and fair, 

Whose praises, floating down below, 
Filled all the midnight air. 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 191 

11 Glory to God," they sweetly sang, 

" Glory to God on high, " 
The earth with their loud anthem rang, 

And thrilled the starry sky. 

11 Glory to God, and peace on earth. 

To sinful men goodwill; " 
These were the songs at Jesus' birth, 

These tidings flow on still. 

Sing, ye heavens, for our God 

This mighty work hath done, 
And sound His praises all abroad, 

For He hath sent His Son ! 

Break forth in song, ye mountains high, 

Forests, and every tree ; 
The Lord hath brought redemption nigh, 

And set His people free. 

Proclairh His love from pole to pole, 

Declare it near and far ; 
And let the joyous anthem roll 

From shining star to star. 



192 



GOOD FRIDAY. 

M Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? Behold, and see if 
there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow." 



ANSWEB, Lord, Thy bitter cry, 
IgOtjj Never was seen a sorrow great as Thine, 

Since first the sun in heaven began to shine 
In yonder vaulted sky. 

Saviour, what did they give Thee here, 

For all Thy unknown love and wond'rous grace ? 
Derisions, hatred, spittings in Thy face, 

The scourge, the nail, the spear. 

Fierce men of blood did do their worst, 

And treated Thee with fierce and fiendish scorn, 
And crowned Thee with the sharp and cruel thorn, 

And held Thee all accurst. 

They wagged their heads as they passed by, 

And gnashed their teeth, and angry curses flung, 
As Thou, a spectacle to men and angels, hung 

Betwixt the earth and sky. 



GOOD FRIDAY. 193 

And worst than all, God's dreadful ire, 

Against the sins Thou didst so freely bear ; 
Did flash before Thee with its awful glare, 

And scathe Thy soul like fire. 

Thy fearful anguish quenched the sun, 

And drew a veil of darkness o'er the skies, 
And hid the death-look of Thy patient eyes, 

Until Thy work was done. 

eyes, all dimmed with bitter tears ! 

face, all stained with drops of crimson blood ! 

voice, that wailing from the painful rood, 
Didst shake the shuddering spheres ! 

bitter cross, pain, smart ! 

And was the anguish borne, Lord, for me ? 
And what shall I in turn give back to Thee ? 
My heart, dear Lord, my heart. 

Thou prizest this all gifts above, 

Then take it, Lord, for it is wholly Thine ; 
No part in it I henceforth claim as mine, 

1 give Thee love for love. 



194 




EASTER DAY. 

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits 
of them that slept."— 1 Cor. xv. 20. 

■ HEIST has risen! let the tidings sweep thro' 
heaven and earth and sea ; 
He hath burst the gloomy prison, bound the 
jailer, walked forth free. 
At a touch the gates He shattered, rent in twain the 

brazen bars ; 
Spoiled the spoiler of his trophies. Shout for joy ye 
morning stars ! 

Now the Saviour's tomb is empty, angels sit beside the 

door ; 
Death, the Tyrant, could not hold Him, and He wakes 

to sleep no more. 
Christ is risen! Eaise the Anthem, spread the news 

with bliss so rife ; 
For the earth in all its aspects, is transfigured like our 

life. 



EASTER DAY. 195 

Wipe the eyes all blind with weeping, chase the sorrow 

from the heart. 
We shall rise, for Christ is risen, scorn we then death's 

bitter dart ; 
Them that sleeping rest in Jesus, ! neath the shadow of 

His wing, 
When Creation's Easter dawneth, at His coming, God 

will bring. 

And our loved ones whom we buried in Earth's dark 

and silent womb, 
They shall hear the trumpet sounding, calling all from 

out the tomb ; 
Not then with despairing sorrow do we mourn those 

gone before, 
They are ours, and we shall clasp them on the calm 

Eternal shore. 

Ah, 'twould break the heart with sorrow if our human 

life's bright stream, 
In the sea of death had ending, flashed and vanished 

like a dream ! 
But the empty tomb assures us Christ has left that 

lowly bed, 
Is the first ripe sheaf of harvest, — is the first-born 

from the dead. 



196 EASTER DAY. 

Calmly we will walk the valley, pass along the 

shadowed way ; 
For, though gloom and darkness haunt it, leads it to 

a glorious Day. 
Raise we then the joyous chorus, this exultant song 

we sing : 
Grave, where is thy boasted triumph? and, Death, 

where is thy sting? Hallelujah! Amen. 




197 



ASCENSION DAY. 

^7X^3 HEIST ascends with songs exultant, 
c ^$k^L And the trumpets thrilling sound ; 
While ten thousand thousand angels 
Gird Him with their cohorts round. 
Hark ! the sound of shout and anthem, 

Einging all along the sky ; 
His right hand and arm most holy 
Have obtained the victory. 

Death and Satan He has vanquished, 

They His triumph proudly swell ; 
See ! He drags, bound to His chariot, 

Captive, all the powers of hell. 
Lift your heads, ye starry portals ; 

Open, everlasting doors; 
Let the King of Glory enter, 

Tread again the crystal floors. 



198 



ASCENSION DA Y. 



" Who is King of Glory ? Tell us, 

For His name we fain would know ;" 
" Lord of Hosts and God most holy, 

Let all knees before Him bow. 
Strong He is, in battle mighty, 

He has bruised the serpent's head ; 
Rent the gates of brass asunder, 

Come triumphant from the dead." 



Poll back, jasper gates of heaven, 

All your portals open throw ; 
Christ comes now to claim His kingdom, 

Place the crown upon His brow. 
Fall down, angels, in your places, 

As the Saviour passeth on ; 
Pay Him honour as He marches 

To His high and rightful throne. 



Let the earth, through all her borders, 
Pender Him the homage due ; 

And let all the gleaming spaces 
Praise the King of Glory too. 



ASCENSION DA Y. 



199 



Hills, and streams, and leafy forests, 
Your harmonious voices raise ; 

And ye winds and pealing thunder, 
With the ocean swell His praise. 

Moon and stars, make ye obeisance 

Unto Him, your glorious Sun ; 
Bow down every sheaf to Joseph's, 

Praise Him whilst the ages run. 
my heart, thy doors throw open, 

Yield the place that is His own ; 
And though heaven cannot contain Him, 

He will there erect His throne. 



Blessed Jesus, as the needle 

Turneth ever to the pole, 
So my trembling heart turns to Thee, 

All my mind, and will, and soul. 
As the rivers seek the ocean, 

All my being flows to Thee ; 
None on earth, and none in heaven, 

Hold I, Lord, compared with Thee. 



200 



NIGHT AND DAY. 

" Until the day break, and the shadows flee away."— Sol. 30K6 iv. 6. 



m 



\ Y heart is weary of the sin and strife, 



[JSSk Is sick of all the sorrow and the woe, 

That brim the cup of this sad earthly life, 
And fill the eye with tears that overflow ; 
How long is this to last ? In pity say, — 
" Till the day break, and shadows flee away." 

Here, ever sound the cries of grief and care, 

Here is the voice of weeping never still ; 
Here, brains grow mad thro' wild and dark despair, 
And tortured hearts are wrung by nameless ill ; 
Must this for ever be, God, I pray ? 
11 Till the day break, and shadows flee away." 

The world goes groaning on in bitter pain, 
Its travail and its bondage never cease ; 

Hound it is woven dark corruption's chain, 
'Gainst which it frets in vain to find release. 



NIGHT AND DAY. 201 

Shall the dark curse much longer on it stay ? — 
" Till the day break, and shadows flee away." 

Our loved ones die, are laid within the grave ; — 

We call, they answer not, — no voice replies, 
Silent are all, — the dear, — the true, — the brave, 
Regardless are they of our tears and cries : 
Are emptied hearts to mourn and grieve alway ? — 
u Till the day break, and shadows flee away." 

Oh, when shall all the pain, the doubts, the fears, 

The pressing burden and sore weight of sin ; 
The breaking hearts, the ever-flowing tears. 
Pass from the world, and endless peace begin ? 
Give me a hope on which the mind can stay, — 
" Till the day break, and shadows flee awav." 

Be patient yet ; a very little while, 

And He that shall not tarry, He will come ; 
And all the gloom shall flee before the smile, 
Which lights us to our everlasting home. 
11 A little while," — 'tis but a brief delay 
"Till the day break, and shadows flee away." 



202 NIGHT AND DAY. 

I will be patient ; I will trust His love, 

Content to walk by faith and not by sight ; 
Nought shall my peace disturb, my spirit move, 
My God is one who doeth all things right. 
Then, calmly will I wait, and watch, and pray, 
" Till the day break, and shadows nee away." 



Mfe* 






203 



A HARVEST HYMN. 

" Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness ; and Thy paths 
drop fatness." — Psalm Ixv. 11. 

^rOkOOD Lord, the valleys laugh arid sing, 
&>E|& The plains stand thick with yellow corn ; 
The reapers make the echoes ring 
With joyous songs from early morn. 

Thy sun shone forth in splendour bright, 
And tinged the mountain tops with gold ; 

The fields were flooded with his light, 
And trees did all their buds unfold. 

Thou gavest us refreshing showers, 

That shook their treasures o'er the land, 

Till blossomed all the earth with flowers, 
And hills rejoiced on every hand. 

Thy dews upon the grass were seen, 
They sparkled on the glittering sward ; 

The lands burst forth in tender green, 
Earth looked a garden of the Lord. 



204 A HARVEST HYMN. 

We thank Thee for the fruitful field, 
We praise Thee for the ripened grain ; 

For lands that did their increase yield, 
And for the richly-loaded wain. 

Thy love has given our harvest store, 
And scattered blessings far and wide ; 

Thy hand has filled our garner floor, 
And all our harvest wants supplied. 

Lord, in Thy holy name we raise, 

With thankful heart and grateful tongue, 

Our tribute of adoring praise, 
Our due and joyful harvest song. 

For all things magnify Thy love, — 
The genial winds, the gentle rain, 

Clouds dropping fatness from above, 
The blade, the ear, the golden grain. 

Lord of the harvest ! of Thy grace 

The circling months come rolling round ; 

The seasons follow in their place, 

The year is with Thy goodness crowned. 



A HARVEST HYMN. 202 

Thou, who givest daily bread, 

And givest it in plenteous store, 
Let all our hungering souls be fed 

With bread of life for evermore. 

Glory to Thee, our God and King, 

Glory to Father, Spirit, Son ! 
Let all Thy creatures praises sing 

To the Eternal Three in One. 






206 



A PRAYER. 



"Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.'' 
John xvi. 24. 



HEIST of God, who ever liveth 
Mercies countless to bestow — 
Christ of God, who ever .gi\ eth 
'Till our brimming cup o'erflow, 

Be gracious, Lord, I pray, to me, 
And grant this boon I ask of Thee. 




Give me blessings that fail never, 

Fervent faith, and hope, and love ; 
Let them stay with me for ever, 
Prize I them all gifts above ; 

Be gracious, Lord, I pray, to me, 
And grant this boon I ask of Thee. 



Give me faith, that moveth mountains, 
Trusts and conquers day by day — 



A PRAYER. 207 

Faith, that opens gushing fountains 
In the bleak and desert way ; 

Be gracious, Lord, I pray, to me, 
And grant this gift I ask of Thee. 

Give me hope, that conquers sorrow, 

O'er the future sheds a light, 
Shrinks not from the unknown morrow, 
Makes the darkness glad and bright ; 
Be gracious, Lord, I pray, to me, 
And grant this gift I ask of Thee. 

Give me love, of all the graces 

Fairest, noblest, greatest, best — 
Love, that's crowned in heavenly places 
As the queen of all the rest ; 

Be gracious, Lord, I pray, to me, 
And grant this gift I ask of Thee. 



208 



ISRAEL'S KEEPER. 

; ' The Lord is thy keeper." — Psalm cxxi. 5. 

fHY Keeper is the Lord on high, 
Jehovah, is His name ; 
He reigns above in majesty, 
From age to age the same. 

Fear not, for He will keep thee safe, 

In Him thon art secnre ; 
Though troubles rise and sorrows chafe, 

His promise shall endure. 

He keeps thee as a mother keeps 

The child upon her breast ; 
Who watches o'er it whilst it sleeps, 

Lest aught should break its rest. 

He keeps thee as a shepherd folds 

The flock beneath his care ; 
Who guards it from the winter's cold, 

And from the summer's glare. 



ISRAEL'S KEEPER. 209 

He keeps thee as a lien doth keep 

Her chickens 'neath her wings ; 
And with a care as fond, as deep, 

O'er thee His shadow flings. 

He keeps thee with the tender love 

A bridegroom bears his bride ; 
Or as the young the mother dove 

Keeps nestling at her side. 

Thy Keeper He shall ever be, 

Dear art thou in his sight ; 
He guard eth thee by land and sea, 

And tends thee day and night. 

Then trust in Him, the Lord above. 

And nought shall work thee ill ; 
Beneath the shelter of His love 

Thou shalt continue still. 



< ^^^NO>r^^Xi>^^» 



210 




HUMILITY. 

' ; He that humbleth hiinself shall be exalted." 

OBD, I would take the lowest place, 
For self I do not high things seek ; 
In Thy great mercy and Thy grace 
Give me a Christ-like spirit meek. 

Others may at the table feast 

To higher place receive a call ; 
Mine be — because I am the least — 

The crumbs that from the table fall. 

Others I judge far better are 
Than me, unworthy as I am, 

To them I am as moth to star, 

'Tis fitting they should bear the palm. 

Whilst they are called to come up higher, 
My station may be at the door ; 

I care not — I will light a fire, 

Or, if Thou pleasest, sweep a floor. 



HUMILITY. 



211 



Some would be served, it is their will, 
Mine be the choice to serve and wait ; 

All lowly tasks I would fulfil, 
And stand a porter at the gate. 

I would be still, though some pass by, 
And far outstrip me in the race ; 

Nor would I look with jealous eye, 
But thankful take the lowest place. 

On things of others I would look, 
Nor live for this poor self alone ; 

Gladly I stoop to " drink the brook, " 
And so, refreshed, pass calmly on. 



212 



THE SAVIOUR'S LEGACY. 

' Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." — 
John xiv. 27. 

5^vN the sad night He was betrayed, 
fl5fc|j$k The Saviour to His chosen said, 
Be ye not troubled, or afraid, 

My peace I leave with you. 

Before I go and leave you here, 
A gift I give to banish fear, 
A legacy your heart to cheer, 

My peace I leave with you. 

The world shall laugh, and ye shall weep, 
The world its feasts and revels keep, 
Its vintage and its harvests reap ; 
My peace I leave with you. 

Let nought disturb the trembling soul, 
Though tempests rage and thunders roll, 
And lightnings flash from pole to pole ; 
My peace I leave with you. 



THE SAVIOUR'S LEGACY. 213 

When sorrow's cup o'erflows the brim, 
And eyes with weeping grow all dim, 
And coming days look black and grim, 
My peace I leave with you. 

When skies are veiled by storms and cloud, 
When winds are high and tempests loud, 
And lie the dead within their shroud, 
My peace I leave with you. 

When ye are tried with anxious care, 
With troubles that are ill to bear, 
And sorrows there are none to share, 
My peace I leave with you. 

When thro' the valley lies your way, 
I will be there your shield and stay, 
And lead you safely to the day, 

My peace I leave with you. 

And when ye come unto the place, 
Where ye shall see Me face to face, 
I'll speak to you these words of grace, — 
My peace I give to you. 



214 



A SABBATH EVENING HYMN. 

" The day is Thine, the night also is Thine." 

(gh^NOTHEE Sabbath closes, 
^pvj£ The hours are speeding fast, 
The day is quickly going, 

Will soon be with the past. 
Before we part this evening, 

We lift our hearts in prayer 
To God, who bids us cast on Him, 

Our every want and care. 

Shall we meet again in worship ? 

Oh, who may tell or say ! 
Our life is like a vapour 

That vanisheth away. 
Then let us seize this moment, 

To God our voices raise, 
And celebrate His goodness, 

And sing aloud His praise. 



A SABBATH EVENING HYMN. 215 

God is our gracious Keeper, 

In hirn we live and move ; 
Let us ask Him in His mercy 

To shelter us with love. 
O'er all our ways He watcheth, 

Is about our path and bed ; 
Who trust eth in His mercy, 

Must be well and safely led. 

Then let us pray for pardon, 

For many are our sins ; 
And trust the grace of Jesus, 

For this acceptance wins. 
Our guilty souls He washes 

In His most precious blood ; 
And blotting out transgressions, 

He brings us near to God. 

Dear Saviour, now at parting, 

And ere our worship cease, 
We ask Thy gracious blessing, 

Oh, shed on us Thy peace ! 
And may this holy Sabbath 

See us further on the way 
Which leads to life Eternal, 

And to the endless Day. Amen. 



216 



ON LAYING THE FOUNDATION-STONE OF A CHURCH. 

'• Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner-Stone. ,! 

W^iOBD, at Thy mercy-seat we bow, 
^jc^ Oh, hear the prayer we offer now ! 

Stoop from Thy dwelling-place on high, 
Accept onr fervent pleading cry. 
On Thee in faith we hnmbly call, 
Thou art our life, our hope, our all ; 
Be with us, gracious God, we pray, 
As here this Corner- stone we lay. 

Look clown upon us in Thy love, 
Send showers of blessing from above ; 
Oh, visit us with plenteous grace ! 
Oh, shine upon us with Thy face ! 
We need Thy mercy to sustain, 
Without Thy Presence all were vain ; 
Be with us, gracious Lord, we pray, 
As here this Corner-stone we lay. 



THE FOUNDATION-STONE. 217 

Bless all, good Lord, who labour here, 
And keep them in Thy faith and fear ; 
Deliver them from every ill, 
Be with them, and protect them still. 
Guard them, guide them, save, defend, 
Preserve them safely to the end ; 
Be with us, gracious Lord, we pray, 
As here this Corner-stone we lay. 

Saviour Christ, on Thee alone 
We build as our Foundation-stone ; 
On Thee our hope and faith we place, 
Nothing we are without Thy grace. 
But built on Thee, our mighty Rock, 
We dread no wave or tempest's shock. 
Be with us, gracious Lord, we pray, 
As here this Corner-stone we lay. 

Christ, in whom Thy people are 

Together knit, the near, the far, 

In life's eternal bundle bound, 

All grace and truth with Thee are found ! 

Do Thou Thyself our Temple build, 

And be it with Thy glory filled ; 



218 THE FO UN DA TION-STONE. 

Be with us, gracious Lord, we pray, 
As here this Corner-stone we lay. 

Oh ! may this House we hope to raise 
Grow to Thine honour and Thy praise ; 
May Peace within its walls be found, 
And Love and Concord sweet abound ; 
Bring forth the Head-Stone, Lord, with joy, 
Thy goodness shall our tongues employ. 
Be with us, gracious Lord, we pray, 
As here this Corner-stone we lay. 



&* 




219 



THE GOODNESS OF GOD. 

: He giveth. us all things richly to enjoy." — 1 Tnr. vi. 17. 

^HE gracious God who lives above, 
|^>s\ And hath His dwelling in the sky, 
With never-ceasing gifts of love, 
Pours down His blessings from on high 
Not with a niggard hand he sheds 
His daily mercies on our heads. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 

'Tis He that gives the pleasant light, 

The morning fair with rosy hue ; 
'Tis He that draws the veil of night, 

And fills with stars the vaulted blue ; 
The interchange is due to Him, 
The purple dawn, the twilight dim. 



220 THE GOODNESS OF GOD. 

Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy. " 



'Tis He that gives to earth and air, 

Their beauty and their tender grace, 
That made the hills and valleys fair, 

And decks with loveliness each place ; 
For lake and stream, and sea and wood, 
Are all as when He made them good, 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 



The seasons come at His command, 

Returning with the circling hours ; 
Spring scattering verdure o'er the land, 

Summer with wealth of fruits and flowers, 
Autumn with brown and swarthy brow, 
And winter bringing fostering snow. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy/' 



THE GOODNESS OF GOD. 221 

'Tis He that gives us trusty friends, 
Affection's sweet and gentle voice ; 

Bright days and peaceful nights He sends, 
All that can make the heart rejoice ; 

His loving-kindness grows and grows, 

Until the brimming cup o'ernows, 

Then let His praise your tongues employ, 

He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 

The mercies from His hand Divine, 

Come borne to us on every hour ; 
In every sunbeam bright they shine, 

They fall in every gracious shower ; 
Countless as dews on morning leaves, 
Thick as the grain in autumn sheaves. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 

'Tis He who pardons all our sin, 

And blots it out for evermore ; 
He makes us clean and pure within, 

And heals each bleeding wound and sore ; 



222 THE GOODNESS OF GOD. 

And pouring on them Gilead's balm, 
Sheds on the soul a heavenly calm. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He give us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 

'Tis He who gives to those who weep, 

" Beauty for ashes," sweet relief, 
Comfort and consolation deep, 

Gladness of heart for bitter grief, 
And with his oil our head anoints, 
And praise for heaviness appoints. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 

He makes in sickness all our bed, 

And folds us in His tender arms ; 
Upon His breast we lay our head, 

And then feel safe from all that harms ; 
He soothes our sorrows, dries our tears, 
And banishes our gloomy fears. 
Then let His praise your tongues employ, 
He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 



THE GOODNESS OF GOD. 223 

And when the last dread hour draws near, 
And deathly shadows come and go, 

And earthly lights all dim appear, 
And voices sound both faint and low ; 

Himself draws near to guard from ill. 

And whisper words of comfort still. 

Then let His praise your tongues employ, 

He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
11 All things richly to enjoy." 

'Tis He that breaks the golden bowl, 
That loosens, too, the silver cord ; 

So that set free the fettered soul 
May rise like some uncaged bird ; 

And soar from earth to heaven away, 

To cloudless realms of endless day. 

Then let His praise your tongues employ, 

He gives us all things to enjoy, — 
" All things richly to enjoy." 



224 




im 



HEART-BREATHINGS. 

H for a harp of heaven's own gold! 

p Oh for a well-strung perfect lyre ! 

That I God's mercies manifold 

Might celebrate as I desire ; 

As they who stand 

With palms in hand, 

Upon the glassy sea of fire. 



Oh for the tongue of those who bow 
Within the shadow of the throne ; 
Who take the crowns from off their brow, 
Before His feet to cast them down ! 
That I might raise 
Eternal praise 
To God Jehovah, Three in One. 

Oh for an angel's power of flight ! 
A seraph's burning heart of love ! 



HEART-BREA THINGS. 22i 

To serve God ever day and night, 
To serve Him as the ages move > 
And to fulfil 
His Holy will, 
As saints do in the courts above. 

I pant, I thirst ; I yearn for this, 

I would be pure and free from blame ; 
It were to me the highest bliss 

To rise beyond guilt, fear, and shame ; 
To have within 
No taint of sin, 
Purged throughly in the cleansing flame. 

But if such bliss cannot be here, 

And holiest deeds must wear a stain, 
Oh ! let me in Thy courts appear, 
Where purity alone doth reign. 
And evermore, 
On that blest shore, 
I shall be free from such a pain. 

Oh ! draw me upward to Thy feet ; 
Oh ! bathe me in the wells of light ; 

p 



226 



HEART BREA THINGS. 



Oh ! make me perfect, pure, complete ; 
Oh ! turn my faith at once to sight. 

And let me be, 

My God, with Thee, 
All clothed in garments clean and white. 



Close to the mystic tree of life, 

Where spread its branches green and calm, 
Whose boughs with fruitage all are rife, 

Whose leaves are fraught with healing balm, 
I fain would raise, 
My voice in praise, 
And lift up an eternal psalm. 



227 



WHITSUNDAY, 

" Be filled with the Spirit." 

H, fill me with Thy Spirit, gracious Lord ! 
SStsM% I ask not for a measure poor or scant ; 
The fulness of Thy gift to me accord, 
Not less, not lower, is the grace I want. 

Fill me with faith, that where I do not see, 
I still may rest all trustful on Thy love, 

From fears unchildlike and from doubts set free, 
My heart a shrine for peace, that holy Dove. 

Fill me with wisdom from the source of light, 
That I may walk the world unstained by sin, 

And keep my raiment spotless, pure, and white, 
Blameless in act without and thought within. 

Fill me with power, — it only comes from Thee 
Who art my soul's salvation and desire, — 

That in Thy blessed service I may be 
Subtle and quick as flame of living fire. 



228 WHITSUNDAY. 

Fill me with love, God, from clay to day, 
For this can make all bitter things most sweet 

And this can turn the hardest, roughest way 
Into a flowery sward beneath the feet. 

Oh, fill me to the full with " the new wine ! " 
What if the earthen vessel it destroy ? 

Death were a bliss, a rapture all divine, 

If coming through the pressure of such joy. 

For knowing then, Thy great, surpassing love, — 
Thy love so deep, so high, so wide, so broad, - 

I should be rilled, like happy saints above, 
With all Thy glorious fulness, my God. 



229 



A PLEA FOR MERCY. 

■ 3Iine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able 
to look up."— Psa. xl. 12. 



H 



g^BEAT God, behold me at Thy feet, 
In pity look on me from heaven ; 



Oh, speak to me in accents sweet, 
And say my sins are all forgiven ! 

Those sins are many as the sand, 
They are a load I cannot bear ; 

I'm tossed like wreck upon the strand, 
And well nigh driven to despair. 

My guilt is heavy, dark, and deep, 
It burdens me with bitter fears ; 

It galls me that I cannot sleep, 

Ail night I wash my couch with tears. 

I hardly dare lift up mine eyes, 

Or from the dust, Lord, look to Thee ; 

I smite upon my breast with cries, 
God, be merciful to me ! 



230 A PLEA FOE MERCY. 

Oh, purge me in the cleansing flood ! 

Oh, wash me wholly through and through ! 
Oh, plunge me in the precious blood, 

And make me whiter far than snow ! 

I have no other hope but Thee, 

And to no other can I fly ; 
If Thou dost shew no grace to me, 

Then, Jesus, I can only die. 

But Thou hast said — Thy word I trust — 
" I cast out none that come to Me ; " 

I rise up therefore from the dust, 
And to Thy footstool, Lord, I flee. 

And if I perish after all, 

And suffer bitter pain and loss ; 

I perish trusting in Thy call, 
I perish clinging to Thy cross. 



r€&n 



231 




TRUST IN GOD. 

" Speak, Lord, for Thy servant keareth.'' — 1 Sam. iii. 9. 

£>PExiK, Lord, Thy servant fain would hear, 
?^2i6t ^ na ^ can I do, or whither go ? 
For be the errand far or near, 

To house of mirth or home of woe ; 
Say but the word, I am content, 
My feet shall run wherever sent ; 
Let Thy command be what it may, 
'Tis Thine to speak — mine to obey. 

Speak, Lord, see at Thy feet I lie, 

Eeady Thy wishes to fulfil ; 
I care not where Thou bidd'st me hie, 

I only wait to do thy will ; 
For love shall make the duty light, 
And faith shall triumph over sight ; 
All that Thou askest I will give, 
To do Thee service is to live. 



232 TRUST IX GOD. 

Speak, Lord, and let Thy servant's way 

Be hard or easy, all is one ; 
For Thou hast taught me now to say, 

Not mine own will but Thine be done ; 
Oh, speak ! and I will stoop to drink 
The bitterest cup, and will not shrink ; 
Thy yoke no hardship has for me, 
Or none at least that I can see. 

Speak, and above the world's loud din, 
Above its wildest sounds of strife, 

Above the clamour of its sin, 
Above the claims of busy life, 

Upon my ear Thy voice shall fall, 

And find me waiting for Thy call ; 

For this I know, whate'er Thy word, 

I long to do Thy bidding, Lord. 

Speak, Lord, and in the darkest storm, 

When winds beat loud, and waves are high, 

And hearts are failing from alarm, 
And Faith is almost near to die ; 

When Hope itself burns dim and low, 

And plans are baffled by the foe, 



TRUST IN GOD. 233 

My trembling heart shall fear no ill, 
If I can catch Thy " Peace, be still." 

And when the last sore strife draws nigh, 
And Fear o'er Faith would fain prevail, 

When death-mists pass across the eye, 
And heart and flesh begin to fail ; 

Then speak, and in my dying ear, 

Oh, let Thy voice sound low and clear ! 

Call me, that I may follow Thee, 

For where Thou art I too would be. 



234 



A HEART-CRY. 

1 Abide with us ; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. " 
— Luke xxiv. 29. 

_iHE shadows lengthen, night will soon be here, 
Juj|v. Leave me not, Saviour, I would feel Thee near ; 
I long to have Thee ever at my side, 
Oh, come to me, and with me still abide ! 

The evening grows so dark, and overhead 
The skies with thick 'ning clouds are overspread ; 
I look in vain to see some brightening ray 
Shine on my path, to light my onward way. 

Dark cares, like mists, are gathering o'er my sight, 
And doubts, like clouds that fall across the light ; 
And when I scan the future, 'tis with fears, 
And eyes all wet with hot and blinding tears. 

And yet I mourn my weakness, would be strong, 
And full of courage as I pass along, 
Not with a step that falters ; painful, slow, 
But firm and stedfast on the road I go. 






A HEART-CRY. 235 

Lord, have pity, for I am but weak, 

Give me the strength I need, and humbly seek ; 
Give me Thy power, Thy all-sufficient grace, 
Oh, shine upon me with Thy blessed face ! 

No longer then faint-hearted shall I tread 
The way I shrink from with a nameless dread ; 
Thy presence shall ensure me rest and peace, 
And fear and trembling shall for ever cease. 

If the Eternal arms are underneath, 

1 care not what betides — or life, or death, — 
Let me but lay my head on Thy dear breast, 
Nought shall disturb my peace, my trust, my rest. 

The night may come, the shadows darken still, 
With Thee beside me, I can fear no ill ; 
For thou wilt safely guide me by the road 
That leads to heaven, to holiness, and God. 



c^O^ g ^C^o 



236 



THE UNCHANGING ONE. 

"For I am the Lord, I change not."— Malachi iii. & 

frSf^; God, the Lord, I lift mine eyes, 
-%*Pt -^ e re ^ ns unchanged above the skies ; 
For ever there he loves and lives, 
All that I need to me He gives. 

The heavens and earth themselves shall fail, 
And Time against the world prevail ; 
But God, when these dissolve in flame, 
Shall be eternally the same. 

Then will I seek the happy place, 
Provided by Jehovah's grace, 
And sheltered 'neath his wings Divine, 
Shall gladly make this Refuge mine. 

A Power Almighty for my aid, 
A Love so great it ne'er can fade, 



THE UNCHANGING ONE. 237 

A wisdom perfect, — these I have ; 
What can I further want or crave ? 

This God I lean on is my Friend, 

Mine now — through life, till life shall end ; 

He whom I worship and adore, 

Abides the same for evermore. 



238 



THE RESOLVE. 

"WTiither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will 
lodge ; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."— 
Ruth i. 16. 

^ESUS, lead on ; I follow Thee, 

I care not where, — 'tis one to me, — 
If only I with Thee may be. 

However rough or hard the way, 
Nothing shall hinder me, or stay, 
By darksome night or sunny day. 

If I have Thee for Friend and Guide, 
I care for nothing else beside, 
All must be well, whate'er betide. 

My road may lie in paths unknown, 

Through ways with piercing thorns o'ergrown, 

On pastures green or flinty stone. 

Nay, dearest Lord, for it were sweet 
To follow Thee with bleeding feet, 
Along the road Thou judgest meet, — 



THE RESOLVE. 230 

Only do Thou before me go. 
Then let my lot be joy or woe, 
On mountains high or valleys low. 

I'll follow Thee to house of mirth, 
Chamber of death, or home of birth, 
To land of plenty or of dearth. 

Content I am, whate'er befal, 
What can dismay, or who appal, 
Since Thou to me art all in all ? 

I love the house where Thou art guest, 
There would I lodge, and take my rest, — 
To be with Thee is to be blest. 

Thy people to my heart I hold 
With pure affection manifold : 
I prize them more than precious gold. 

Thy God my God shall also be, 

For I would share His love with Thee, 

Through time, and through eternity. 



210 



GOD'S FURNACE. 

' I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."— Isa. xlviii. 10. 
, Y God a Furnace hath of fire, 



ivtiii^ ^ s chambers all with flame aglow, 
'Tis fann'd in love, and not in ire, 

And on the coals He oft doth blow : 
A Furnace kindled with his breath, 
Cruel, and keen, and sharp as death. 

Why cloth He thus His fires prepare, 
And fan them till they fiercely burn, 

To scathe us with their angry glare, 
Whichever way we move or turn ? 

That He may plunge His people in, 

And cleanse them throughly from their sin. 

He treats us as the goldsmith treats 

The ruddy gold he prizeth well, 
Who makes it pass thro' savage heats, 

And melts it in his crucible ; 



GOD'S FURNACE. 241 

And this he does because he knows 
'Tis destined for a monarch's brows. 



God's fires burn up the seeds of ill 
Which lurk within the secret heart ; 

God's fires melt down the hardest will, 
And sever dross and gold apart ; 

Thro' all the spirit's depths they run, 

Until their cleansing work is done. 

Oft at white heat the furnace stands, 

Ready the evil to consume, 
To shrivel up sin's strongest bands, 

With fires as fierce as those of doom ; 
For some He heats it seven times more 
Than He has heated it before. 



But in the furnace fires so keen, 
God doth not leave us all alone, 

And tho' His presence is not seen, 
There walks beside us His dear Son, 

Q 



242 GOD'S FURNACE. 

Who comforts us and doth sustain, 
And takes from suffering half its pain. 

And when His fires have wrought their aim, 
And sullen hardness all is gone, 

God takes us from the burning flame, 
To place us on His Anvil stone, 

And there with patience wondrous kind, 

He moulds and shapes us to His mind. 

We shrink indeed from all the pain, 
The furnace-blast, the hammer's blow, 

We pray to 'scape them, but in vain, 
For God knows well it must be so ; 

That if we would be clean and pure, 

The searching flame we must endure. 

We need the frequent hammer's stroke, 
One blow doth not accomplish all, 

It is not thus our hearts are broke, 
Oft and again the sledge must fall ; 

And 'tis our fault that we require 

God's Anvil, and God's Furnace fire. 






GOD'S FURNACE. 

But let us thank Him for the pain 
That separates the gold from dross, 

That purges us from soil and stain, 
E'en tho' it be at our sore loss ; 

Why should we quail, when God desires 

To make us perfect thro' His fires ? 



243 




244 



THE HIDING-PLACE. 

" I flee unto Thee to hide me." — Psalm cxliii. 9. 

qfofi\> LOED my God, to Thy dear arms I flee, 
$VVi% X Hiding-Place for all that need Thou art ; 



i 



And there is room enough and place for me 
Within the tender foldings of Thy heart. 

I flee to Thee, as some hurt frightened child 
Flies weeping to its mother's gentle breast, 

Where, soothed by tender looks and accents mild, 
Wearied at last, it sobs itself to rest. 

I flee to Thee, like some poor wandering doye, 
Ruffled and torn by beating winds and rain, 

To seek a shelter in Thy heart of loye, 

And find myself at peace and home again. 

I flee to Thee, as to a refuge, Lord, 

When stricken sore by throes and pangs of sin, 
For Thou hast promised in Thy holy word 

That Thou wilt take the wounded mourner in. 



THE HIDING-PLACE. 245 

I flee to Thee, when sorrows wildly roll 
In surging waves above my naked head, 

And rising floods threaten to drown my soul, 
And fill it with an anxious, trembling dread. 

I flee to Thee, when angry foes draw near, 
When terror and alarm they with them bring, 

Assured no enemy shall reach me where 
I hide, beneath the shadow of Thy wing. 

I flee to Thee, when strife of bitter tongues 

"Wounds me, and cuts like sharp and cruel sword ; 

I know there is a refuge from all wrongs 
In Thy pavilion's shelter, dearest Lord. 

I flee to Thee, when death comes armed with fears, 
And scares me with his sharp uplifted dart ; 

I know Thy hand will wipe away my tears, 

I know Thy love will calm my trembling heart. 

Let me but lean upon Thy staff and rod, 
I shall have comfort in the last dread hour ; 

Down to the valley come with me, God, 

And I will smile at death, and brave his power. 



246 THE HIDING-PLACE. 

The shadows then may gather darkly round, 
They are but shadows after all, — no more : 

Death has been vanquished, beaten and discrowned, 
Broken the awful sceptre which he bore. 

So, gracious Lord, to Thee with hope I flee, 
I know Thy boundless mercy, truth and grace, 

That in Thy sheltering arms there is for me, 
In life or death, a hapjoy Hiding-Place. 



w^ 



jKisailatmms fbras. 



249 




DEAD. 

"My son, my son !" 

/yEAD : turn'd at once into clay ! 
' ^ Dead : lie that drew life from my breast ; 
Whom I clasp' d to my heart yesterday, 
And close to its pulses had press' d ! 
Dead : and his face ashen grey ! 
Dead : the wild spirit at rest ! 
My son, my son ! 

Dead : but not shot thro' the heart 

In battle 'gainst wrong for the right, — 

'Twere noble from life thus to part, 
And fall slain in a chivalrous fight ; 

But to think how he died is the smart, 
A darkness unbroken b}' light ! 
My son, my son ! 



250 DEAD. 

Hadst thou died in a cause that was good, 
Standing up for the right and the true, 

Tin' mother had said, — ay, she would, — 
Let death make a gap 'twixt us two : 

I swear, by the cross and the rood, 
Without tears I had bade thee adieu ! 
My son, my son ! 

Dead : stricken down by a blow 
Dealt out by a passionate hand ; 

In the wink of an eyelid laid low, 
His blood welling out on the sand, 

And crawling, all red in its flow, 

Till it crept to my feet where I stand ! 
My son, my son ! 

Dead: kill'd in a wild, drunken brawl, — 
Ah, here is the sting and the shame ! 

Ah, here is the wormwood and gall ! 
This burns in my bosom like flame ! 

Would that tears had clropp'd on my pall 
Ere this blot had blacken' d his name. 
My son, my son ! 



DEAD. 251 

Thus to die with a wine-madden' d brain, 

Besotted, befool' d, and beguiled ! 
I curse, from the heart of my pain, 

In words that sound frantic and wild ; 
I curse, — but my curses are vain ; 

They cannot restore me my child. 
My son, my son ! 

Yet my grief is but common, they say, 
Others feel the same anguish and woe ; 

Sad mothers and wives face the day, 
And their eyes with hot tears overflow, 

As weeping they pass on their way, 
And cursing the wine as they go. 
My son, my son ! 

I tell you in God's holy name, 

That this is the scourge of the land, 

Its burden, its sorrow, its shame, 

Burnt deep on its brow like a brand ; 

Striking hard at its honour and fame, 
And crumbling its strength into sand. 
My son, my son ! 



252 DEAD, 

We mothers and wives, lift the cry, 
And pray ye, men, for your grace : 

Come, help from your stations on high, 
As ye hope to look God in the face, 

Who sees us, as weeping we lie 

And ask you for ruth from your place ! 
My son, my son ! 

poets, your aid we implore : 

Chant no longer the praises of wine ; 

Dash the wine-cup down on the floor, 
You dishonour a craft so divine ! 

Ah, indeed, you would praise it no more, 
If your son lay dead there, like mine ! 
My son, my son ! 

singers, well-skill' d in the song, 

Who stir the sweet air with your breath 

As your voices move thrilling along, 
Dare you laud the cup that is death ? 

Dare ye lend your great gifts to such wrong ? 
If so, from your brows tear the wreath ! 
My son, my son ! 



DEAD. 253 

Hear the cry from madhouse and jail, 
The moan of the starving and poor, 

Hear the widows' and orphans' sharp wail, 
Who, like martyrs that groan and endure, 

Lift to God their white faces so pale, 

And, though speechless, His pity adjure. 
My son, my son ! 

Help all ! Free the slaves from their bands, 

Help, and take part in this fight ; 
Strike the fetters from paralysed hands ! 

Like Samson, rise up in your might, 
Break the chains like green willow-wands : 

Do this in God's name, and the right ! 
My son, my son ! 

Oh, scorn not, I pray you, the cry 

Of a mother, a widow undone ; 
But even tho' you pass it by, 

It will move the great God on His throne : 
He hears from the dust where I lie, 

Where in ashes I weep for my son. 
My son, my son ! 



254 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

PAET I. 

ff*Wt T is the golden summer time, 

(e>\^ And looks the earth as in its prime, 

When beauty glowed in Eden's bowers. 
And sparkled in its blushing flowers ; 
When all things wore the radiant dye, 
The hue of immortality. 
Fair and pleasant is the scene : 
A sloping lawn of tender green 
Is set amidst a ring of trees, 
Whose leaves attract the honey bees, 
xAnd move beneath a gentle breeze. 
Southward there gleams a tranquil lake, 
"Where, in a thousand ripples, break 
The waves that shine like diamonds bright 
In the fair morning's glowing light. 
Amidst bright flowers a fountain play-. 
Which leaps to meet the sun's bright rays ; 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 



255 



And then falls back with cooling sound, 
Scattering bright rainbow showers around. 

Upon this fair and fragrant lawn, 
In youth's first flush and rosy dawn, 
A merry group of children gay 
In joyous sport beguile the day ; 
Such children as to us are given, 
As if to say — " Of such is heaven." 
Some chase, with lightsome step and spring, 
The butterfly's enamelled wing ; 
Some gather flow'rets fresh and fair, 
And twine them in their wavy hair. 
Or to their voices' music sweet, 
In graceful dance advance, retreat; 
And ever comes upon the ear, 
Sweet joyous shouts and laughter clear, 
Wild bursts of uncontrolled glee, 
And innocent glad revelry. 
But two, apart from all the throng, 
Nor heed the dance, nor list the song, 
A boy and girl, in life's first pride, 
Sit near each other, side by side. 
Of different beauty each, though fair, 
He with dark eyes, and raven hair ; 



256 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

Her tresses sunny, and her eye 

Steeped in the heaven's azure dye. 

As two flowers growing from one stem, 

Whose dewy buds in kisses meet, 

And gently blend their leaves in one, 

So these two children, fair and sweet, 

Near to each other, sit apart, 

With cheek to cheek and heart to heart. 

Yes, in the rosy summer light, 

In childhood's morning, glad and bright, 

With the roses blooming near, 

In the noontide of the year, 

Without a shadow in their eyes, 

Joyous 'neath the cloudless skies, 

They have come from all the others, 

Friends and sisters, fathers, brothers ; 

And, near each other, sit apart, 

One in hope, and one in heart. 

He o'er her fair young form does bow, 

And twines a garland for her brow ; 

While she, with sweet and artless smile, 

Looks up into his eyes the while, 

And glows her cheek with youthful pride, 

As he lisping calls her "little bride." 



LIONEL AND MARGARET, 257 

happy days, so fair and bright 1 
world, all clad in tender light ! 
radiant hours, must ye then pass 
Like shadows flitting o'er the grass? 

And now the delicate feast is laid 
Beneath the beeches in the shade, 
And here glow ripe and mellow fruits, 
With dulcet creams, and juicy roots ; 
Red grapes and amber from the vine, 
That like to lustrous jewels shine ; 
Cool water from the well, and wine, 
Soft peaches, purple plums, and luscious dates. 
And snow-white bread, and dainty cates ; 
All that could please these children fair, 
Was placed in plenteous bounty there. 
So passed the happy hours away, 
Until in beauty closed the day. 
The sun in splendour rich and bright, 
His bed a couch of rosy light, 
Sank slowly to his evening rest, 
Flooding with glory all the glowing west. 
Then sounded from the old church tower 
The curfew-bell, tolling the parting hour ; 

R 



258 LIONEL AXD MARGARET. 

Its solemn chime falling npon the ear, 

Now loud and high, now deep and clear. 

Then came the pleasant eventide, 

And all the heavens, far and wide, 

Were filled with stars, which gleamed and shone 

Around the white moon on her throne. 

The flowers had long since closed their eyes, 

The fair white lily, and the crimson rose ; 

But still they send forth fragrant sighs, 

And all their sweetness they disclose. 

The birds are silent in the trees, 

Xor is there heard the whisper of a breeze. 

Only one bird prolongs her note, 

And she, the sweet-voiced nightingale, 

Fills with her music all the dale ; 

"Which pushes from her swelling throat, 

In hurried and in passionate strain, 

A thrilling song of love and pain. 

And when the happy birds and bees 

Flew to their homes amongst the trees, 

And flowers, as the daylight fled, 

Slept with shut eyes and drooping head, 

The children sought each their mother's nest, 

And soon were folded to her breast. 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 259 

They parted all, and calm came down, 
A benediction lite a crown 
Resting in blessing on each, brow 
That lay in happy slumber now. 

Oh, who may say what after fate 
These joyous little ones await ? 
Oh, who may tell if bliss or woe 
Shall be their portion here below ? 
Shout ! shout ! make echo ring again 
With your wild, mirthful glee ; 
Your brows are yet undimmed by pain, 
Your hearts from care are free. 
Shout ! shout and laugh ! for coming years 
May turn your mirth and joy to tears. 
Then visions of these youthful days, 
And of this sunlit green, 
Will flit across your weary gaze ; 
And joys that once have been, 
Into new life shall rush, and start, 
Will pierce the brain, and wring the heart, 
AVill bring fresh tears, and bitter sorrows, 
Thoughts of sweet yesterdays, and sad to-morrows; 
And you will feel that years of pain 
Would cheaply purchase hours of youth again. 



260 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 



PAKT II. 

Time passed; they came and went, the months and years, 
And brought their changes as they hurried by ; 

To some they bore sad thoughts and bitter tears, 
Eegrets and memories that raised a sigh ; 

To others rest and pleasures sweet and deep, 

Bright days of joy, and nights of peaceful sleep. 

And what of those who met in that bright scene, 
When summer flushed the sky with tender light, 

And hills and valleys clothed themselves in green, 
And the whole earth looked fresh, and pure, and 
bright, 

And if a shadow fell across the way, 

It only shed a softened lustre on the day ? 

Ah, what of them, the young, the gay, the free, 
Who played together on the emerald grass, 

And laughed and danced in merry childish glee, 
And chased the shadows as they saw them pass, 

And shouted to the echoes, which again 

Eeplied to them in sweet and mocking strain ! 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 



261 



Their fates are various : some on foreign shore 
Their fortunes seek, and some upon the main ; 

Some toil amid the city's deaf'ning roar, 

With weary hand, and sweat of brow and brain ; 

Some burn the midnight oil, and some are wed ; 

And others lie at rest amongst the quiet dead. 

And the fair Girl and Boy, who in their youth 
Were lovers, and whose souls were early knit 

To one another with firm strength and truth, 
For whom the future was all brightly lit 

With hopes that made the common earth and air, 

Seem like transfigured things divinelv fair ? 



Well, for a time they lived as in a dream ; 

They met and parted, parted, met again, 
And ran their lives in one full copious stream 

Of joy, and there was nought of pain ; 
And thus to live at all was very sweet, 
And flowers sprang up and blossom'd round their feet. 

And so their life and being grew all one, 
As twilight mingles with the dying day ; 

Or as some cloud, that lies anear the sun, 
Is interpenetrated with his ray ; 



262 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

They knew not thought, or wish, or grief apart, 
But answered perfectly each heart to heart. 

love, youth and love, before whose eyes 
The future gleams, bathed in ideal light, 

And the whole world becomes a paradise, 

And hours are winged with pleasures in their flight, 

And flowers on earth, and stars in heaven above, 

More radiant grow, touched by the spell of love ! 

Neighbours they were, her father and his sire : 
Their homes divided by broad pasture ground 

And stretch of hill, but both in one fair shire, 
Near to a river, which, with plashing sound, 

1a oiled thro' the meadows in majestic sweep, 

Holding its mighty course unto the deep. 

Her sire was lord of acres rich and broad, 

And in the north owned mountain, lake, and moor ; 

His lands were unto him a kind of god, 
But in all other wealth he was most poor. 

Strip him of acres which to him were all, 

And what was left ? A thing immeasurably small. 

It was his monies, houses, his estate, 

That others bowed to, not the man within ; 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 263 

His outward robes made all he had of great, 

The soul beneath was poor, and weak, and thin. 
Unwind a mummy from its garish sheath, 
What see you there ? A thing of dust and death. 

Ilis father was of good and gentle birth, 
True gentleman, not honoured for his gold ; 

Some part, not much, he had in God's green earth, 
A few ancestral fields on weald and wold ; 

Rich only in seven sons, whose brain and hand 

Must win their fortunes, and success command. 

Too soon there came the waking : with a start 
Their happy dreams were brought to sudden end ; 

Their doom was now to separate, to part, 
Or hold each other only as a friend. 

Her father frowned on him since he was poor, 

So they must meet no more, weep, and endure. 

Their life was chilled, its light for ever gone, 

It had become a pallid, frozen thing ; 
The sun no longer brightly on it shone, 

Cold winter took the place of genial spring, 
For them the summer early 'gan to wane, 
No flower should ever bloom in it again. 



2G4 LIOXEL AXD MARGARET. 

Easy to counsel patience — Lid forget ; 

But hard to carry out the stern command, 
When the heart breaks, and eyes with tears are wet, 

And hope is wrecked like vessel on the strand, 
And life is blank, a story all unread, 
And them we count the happy who are dead. 

So these two found it, yet they bare up well, 

And trusted firmly one another's faith, 
Knowing whatever sorrow them befell, 

That nought should part them, — nought at least but 
death ; 
Faithful to one another they should be, 
Though far divided by the cruel sea. 

And so they were strong-hearted, though it cost 

Them many a bitter pang to separate ; 
And hope, and joy, and life itself seemed lost, 

And the whole world around looked desolate ; 
And that most bitter of all words, " Farewell," 
Sounded as sad as sounds a funeral bell. 

'Tis evening : all the birds are fast asleep, 

The flowers have closed their petals 'gainst the air ; 

The glow-worms out of flowery hedges creep, 

And light their lamps, which glisten bright and fair ; 






LIONEL AXD MARGARET. 2G5 

The leaves with shimmering' dew-drops all are wet, 
So is the tender bluebell, and sweet violet. 

No whisper of the wind is heard to-night 

Amongst the grasses or the branching trees ; 

And not a cloud crosses the moon's fair light, 
Or dims the grace of her white majesties; 

A hush lies on the earth, calm, peaceful, still, 

Silence on valley, river, copse, and hill. 

The only sound is that of waters clear, 
Which flow across a shallow pebbled bed, 

And wind beneath a bank, now there, now here, 
And from a fountain in the hills are fed ; 

They make sweet music as they trickle by, 

Glassing- within their wave the starry sky. 

There is a little bridge across the river, 

Near which grow gnarled oak, and ash-trees pale, 
And one tall poplar, all whose grey leaves shiver 

Though not a breath of wind stirs in the dale ; 
And a fair willow weeps above the stream, 
Which glides along with manv a flash and gleam. 



266 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

And here they meet, these two so soon to part, 

Hand clasped in hand, and eyes all wet with tears; 

A pang like that of death at either heart, 

Torn with a thousand sorrows, griefs, and fears ; 

Their cheeks all blanched, and whitened with a grief 

For which there is no solace, no relief. 

A lovely maiden she, robed in the light 

Of innocence and youth ; deep blue her eyes, 

Intense as are the heavens in summer night, 
When myriad stars shine in the cloudless skies ; 

Sunny her hair, and golden, as some ray 

Of sunshine wandering there had lost its way. 

A mind to match the face, pure, gentle, good, 
Quick to conceive, rapid to understand, 

Attuned to catch each quick and varying mood 
Of joy or grief; an open, liberal hand; 

A tender heart, a voice of softest tone ; 

A soul to make the griefs of others all her own. 

And he — most worthy of this lady fair — 

His sympathies were with the right and true ; 

His thoughts to God and man might all lie bare, 
And be exposed unto the public view ; 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 267 

For nothing low or mean, untrue or base, 
Had there a lodgment or a dwelling-place. 

Noble he was, and generous, and brave, 

Large-hearted, good, and chivalrous, and pure; 

He was his passions' master, not their slave, 
Had learnt to do, and suffer, and endure ; 

Young he was taught his worser self to tame, 

And walk the world unspotted, free from blame. 

He was a valiant soldier of the cross, 

One not ashamed to live above the world, 

Content to bear the pain, and suffer loss, 
His banner not concealed, nor idly furled ; 

The foes of Christ were his ; he boldly trod 

The upward path to heaven, and to God. 

He was about to sail for southern lands, 

Where suns are larger, brighter moons by night, 

Where lustrous stars burn over golden sands, 
And birds flash by, like gems of living light. 

Not thither drawn by any selfish hope, 

But that with sin and sorrow he may cope. 

No restless enterprise attracts his heart, 
Ambition, commerce, draw him not afar ; 



263 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

He seeks not wealth upon the foreign mart, 

Nor lion our on the bloody fields of war ; 
Nor would he dig for treasure in the mine 
Where the red gold or gleaming diamonds shine. 

Nor goes he to trace rivers to their source, 

Or bring from dusty tombs the mummied dead ; 

Not his to quell the savage beast by force, 
Or track the tiger to his cruel bed ; 

Nor is his only wish to wander, where 

The skies are bluer, more divine the air. 

He leaves his home a messenger of peace, 
To open fountains sweet in thirsty grounds, 

To tell how guilty souls may find release, 
And gladden weary ears with joyful sounds; 

To give the wretched balsam for their woes, 

And make the desert blossom as the rose. 

Had Lionel a fortune gone to gain, 

Her father on his love had smiled, not frowned ; 
He had not sued for Margaret's hand in vain, 

This gift his deep affection then had crowned. 
But what could a poor soldier of the cross 
Expect, but trial, hardship, sorrow, loss ? 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 2C9 

And she would fain have followed where he led, 
And joined with his, her hand and future fate; 

With him no pain or hardship would she dread, 
Or ever at his side feel desolate. 

There was no sacrifice she would not make, 

The greater, all the better, for his sake. 

It might not be : a father's will said " nay," 
And by her pleading was not to be bent, 

Although she wept, and weeping, oft did pray. 
She could not win her wish, or his consent ; 

She only could take refuge in her God, 

And meekly bow the head, and kiss the rod. 

And what could Lionel do but dry her tears, 
And whisper words in strong and hopeful tone, 

And bid her look beyond the weary years, 

When he would come and make her all his own ; 

And then the keenness of their happy bliss 

Would more than compensate such pain as this ? 

He spoke of God, of hope, of love, of all 

That could shed balm upon her troubled breast : 

And gently sought all motives to recall 

That possibly might soothe her heart to rest ; 



270 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

And then the shadow passed out from her eyes, 
And, looking up, she smiled in hopeful wise. 

And so they talked, in voices tender, low, 
Nor ever doubted of each other's faith, 

And said and felt, wherever they might go, 
They would be true and trusty until death ; 

Again, and once again, they said, "Farewell," 

And the words sounded hopeless as a passing bell. 

And then he stood and kissed away her tears, 
And held her trembling to his throbbing heart ; 

And, torn with anguish and contending fears, 
He turned away -as if indeed to part ; 

Then turned again to take one last long look, 

And thrilled his frame, and all his pulses shook. 

And then they go upon their several ways, 
Beneath the passionless and gleaming skies, 

From which the moon shed down her clear cold rays, 
And stars looked out with bright and pitiless eyes ; 

And with a slow and faltering step they pass 

Across the long and dewy meadow-grass. 

They parted thus in sorrow and in tears ; 

Yet in their hearts faith beat both high and pure, 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 271 

And hope was strong that in the coming years 
Was happiness for them both true and sure, 
That though to-night they two must part and sever, 
It could not be, it would not be, for ever. 

Dream on, dream on, ye fond ones while you may, 
Let hope burn brightly in your trustful breast ; 

The waking will come soon, the evil day 
Will break up visions of fair fancied rest ; 

Then will the eyes with bitter tears flow o'er, 

For happy days that can return no more. 

Sundered the} 7 were by cruel breadths of sea, 
Which rolled between, and kept them far apart ; 

But severed from each other they might be, 
Yet still they grew together heart to heart, 

And prayers and thoughts were wafted o'er the deep, 

And oft they met in dreams in happy sleep. 

Her father was of shallow heart and brain, 

Not cruel, and not wantonly unkind, 
And so not wholly careless of their pain ; 

No vow of silence on them did he bind : 
He hoped and thought their love would wax in time. 
Faint as the echo of a childish rhyme. 



272 LIOXEL AXD MARGARET. 

And so, in word at least, being left unbound, 
Letters were sent as they occasion made, 

Or fitting opportunity was found ; 

But always were they more or less afraid, 

That soon this solace even might be gone, 

The silent sanction which he gave withdrawn. 

These letters, filled with tender words of love, 
Affection's messengers, came oft from him ; 

Letters esteemed by her all things above, 

And read with beatings of the heart, eyes dim 

AYith tears, — dear letters, read and read again, 

Taking from sorrow something of its pain. 

And the sweet pages he received from her, 
At intervals too long, came like a ray 

Of sunshine to his life, each pulse did stir, 
And brought a light into his darkened day, 

And often when weighed down by heavy care, 

They made him feel as if he trod on air. 

And so they waited, hoped, and looked to God. 

Hoping 'gainst hope, yet ever patient still, 
Bending the head and heart to kiss the rod 

Bowing unto the fiat of His will, 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 273 

Until, like some fair flower that fades away, 

She pined, and drooped, and withered day by day. 

At length her patient look, her paler cheek, 
The heart that broke beneath a quiet mien, 

The faltering step, that daily grew more weak, 
The change that was too plain not to be seen, 

Touched those that saw her daily weep and sigh, 

And brought the fear that she would pine and die. 

And so her sorrow won them to relent, 

And say her will should also now be theirs ; 

That to her marriage they would give consent, 
And yield the answer to her silent prayers ; 

And so, like flowers in sunshine after rain, 

Her drooping heart revived, grew strong again. 

The news was sent across the severing sea, 
That Lionel at once to her might come ; 

"For God," she said, "has gracious been to me, 
A light has shone again into my home ; 

Once thought I we should never meet, dear love, 

Until our meeting in the home above. 

But He has left me here to cheer thy way, 
To comfort thee in sorrow and in care ; 



274 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

To walk beside tliee every coming day, 

Thy work for Him, as I have strength, to share ; 
So to be near thee all my happy life, 
A true, a faithful, and a loving wife." 

And thus again the weary world grew bright, 

The skies seemed clearer, and the flowers more fair ; 

The earth was robed in hues of richer light, 
Tilled with a purer and diviner air ; 

The grass was greener 'neath her happy feet, 

The song of birds more joyous and more sweet. 

The time was fixed for Lionel to leave 

The tropic land for the sweet English shore ; 

And ah, what pleasant visions did they weave ! 
How they should meet, and meet to part no more ; 

For ever should they move on side by side, 

Earth's happiest bridegroom, and its happiest bride. 

And thus the days passed on, the weeks flew by, 
The ship he was to sail in ploughed the deep ; 

The hours she counted with a happy sigh, 
And dreams of Lionel gave joy to sleep. 

Each morning woke her with a new delight, 

The time was shorter since the previous night. 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 



27£ 



At length, her hope was crowned, the ship had come, 
And dropped her anchor in an English bay ; 

Had made a prosperous voyage o'er the foam, 
And favouring winds had borne her on her way ; 

And as she heard the joyous news, I wis 

That Margaret's heart was full of sweetest bliss. 

A joyous song burst from her happy tongue, 

Then broke, then thrilled again, then ended there, 

For she was restless, kept to nothing long, 

Roamed through the house, stepped out into the air ; 

She had been early up before the dawn, 

Tended the swans, and fed the little fawn. 

At dusky eve she sought the little wood, 

Just as the rounded moon rose white and pale ; 

And then, in sad and }^et half happy mood, 
She stood and listened to the nightingale, 

As from its throat the song began to now, 

Now quick and hurried, and now soft and low. 

She stood entranced in deep and silent thought, 

Nor moved until a hasty step drew near, 
Which to her temples all the colour brought, 
Yet shook her with a nameless dread and fear. 



276 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

She turned, she saw her father come in sight, 
Wan as a moonbeam on the edge of night. 

She watched him as he came, she saw him stand 
Close at her side, yet stirred not, was quite still ; 

He held an open letter in his hand, 

She could not take it, had no power or will ; 

She only stared at him, and held her breath, 

With eyes all wild, and face as white as death. 

She knew it all before he uttered word, 
Before the cruel news was said or spoken ; 

And when it came, it smote her like a sword, 
And the poor loving heart at once was broken. 

She made no cry, no moan, nor any sound, 

But fell all lifeless, smitten to the ground. 

Yes, he was dead. Before his time to sail, 
He was laid low by illness on a bed, 

Where long he lay, held by the fever bale, 
And from that couch he never raised his head. 

Illness was rapid, poisoned every vein, 

And racked and tortured him with burning pain. 



i 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 217 

His last thoughts were of heaven and Margaret, 
Her name was interwoven with each prayer ; 

And if his eyes with tears grew ever wet, 

It was to think his death would bring her care. 

He sent her words and messages of love, 

And told her they should meet erelong above. 

And once his fancy wandered, and he dreamed 
He played with her upon the meadow green ; 

And once again it happy May-time seemed, 
As in the long-passed da} r s it once had been. 

And, rising up, he said, " I hear the swell 

From the old village church of the dear Curfew-bell." 

And so he died ; and there beside the wave, 

Where he had laboured long for Christ and God, 

They buried him, and dug his lonely grave, 
And planted English flowers upon the sod ; 

And left him there to sleep, in that low bed, 

Until the day when earth shall yield her dead. 

And she — she did not die : she envied death ; 

Had she her will she would have lain all white 
Upon her bier — to God resigned her breath, 

And hid her bitter sorrow from the light. 



278 LIONEL AND MARGARET. 

She would have slept, and with delighted eyes 
Have waked to see her Lionel in Paradise. 



It was not yet to be, — not yet ; she must 
Live on and on, and so she bowed her will 

To God's, and prayed for patience and for trust ; 
And praying, grew resigned, and calm, and still, 

And lived for others, sought to heal their grief, 

And doing so, found for herself relief. 

Her gentleness and patience were most sweet, 
No one e'er heard a murmur for her woes ; 

She lived to tend her father, and to meet 
Life's daily duties as they daily rose. 

But still of her dead self she was the ghost, 

All joy and happiness being slain and lost. 

And thus for some sad, weary, lonely years, 
Marked chiefly by the hours of bitter pain, 

For though she smiled for others, oftener tears 
Flowed from an aching heart and weary brain. 

Had she so pleased she might have often wed, 

But her sad heart was buried with the dead. 



LIONEL AND MARGARET. 279 

And thus she gently faded, day by day : 
They saw her slowly die before their eyes ; 

And then all quietly she passed away, — 

Smiling she passed, and not with tears or sighs. 

God took her home, He took her to the land 

Where she and Lionel clasp hand in hand. 



What is the meaning of the Christian life ? 

Is it success, and vulgar wealth, a name ? 
Is it a weary struggle and mean strife 

For earth's low gauds, ambition, or for fame ? 
What sow we for ? The world ? for fleeting time ? 
Or far-off harvests, grander, more sublime ? 

The brightest life on earth was one of loss, 

The noblest brow was crowned with sharpest thorn, 

Has not this consecrated pain, the Cross ? 

What higher crown can Christian brows adorn ? 

Be we content to follow on the road 

Which men count failure, but which leads God. 



280 



LOST! 

|Pp&OST ! Yes, I tear up the word 
:-: fci From a heart that bleeds at the core ; 
It gashes and wounds like a sword, 
And opens a festering sore. 
At my soul a deep trouble is stirr'd, 

To be soothed, to be healed, nevermore. 
Lost ! . 

Yet the sun shineth on just the same, 
It smiles on a world that goes ill ; 

It looks on at the sin and the shame, 
At the crimes that men do at their will, 

And tho' it might wrap them in flame, 
It rises and sets on them still. 
Lost ! 

Thou a man ! His likeness I know 

Thou dost carry, dost boast a man's power ; 



LOST! 281 

" The head of the woman ! " — Just so, 
And gifted with strength for thy dower. 

Well, man ! thou art fallen so low 
I, a woman, spurn thee this hour. 

Lost! 

Speak and say, is there not damning wrong 

In using your gifts to betray ? 
You, you in your manhood so strong, 

We so weak that we trust what you say ; 
You treat us just like an old song, 

To be used, and then flung away. 
Lost! 

"What sin is so devilish as this ? 

To drag down a soul to the dust, 
Like Judas, betray with a kiss ; 

All for what ? For a fancy ? a lust ? 
For this, with the serpent's cold hiss, 

To repay too confiding a trust. 
Lost ! 

Thou didst lie on a woman's pure breast, 
Who gave thee thy life by her pain, 



282 LOST! 

Her lullaby sung thee to rest, 

On thy lips fell her kisses like rain. 

By the heart to which thou was prest, 

Feared thou not woman's love to profane ? 
Lost! 

Thy mother ! Ah, yes, grasp the thought ! 

Give it place in thy mind — hold it there ; 
Think ! Her womanhood all set at nought, 

Thou a woman to injure didst dare. 
That motherhood dropt and forgot, 

Thou didst hurt the same nature she bare. 

Lost-: 

But what is our anguish to you ? 

The world will condone, aye, it will ; — 
"Will flatter and fawn, this is true, 

And smile down all thought of the ill ; 
Perhaps for your friendship will sue, 

And with greetings will welcome you still. 
Lost! 

'Tis the part of a coward to lie, 

Tho' thou think'st it little, forsooth! 



LOST! 283 

Thou forgettest there lives in yon sky 

A God full of justice and truth. 
And what wilt thou say in reply, 

When thou stand' st to be judged by His truth ? 
Lost! 

Ah, that God did hear thy false vow, 
To give her thy hand and thy name ! 

Tho', dastard, thou shrink' st from it now, 
And art dead to all feelings of shame. 

Let the brand of a Cain mark thy brow, 
And burn in thy heart like a flame. 
Lost! 

Ah ! where is she now ? Can'st thou tell ? 

She whom you lured by thy love ; 
Love ! Aye, thou didst love her as well 

As the ravenous vulture the dove. 
Where ? On the streets ? or in hell ? 

Answer Him who judgeth above. 
Lost! 

See ! She creeps to the black river side, 
Where the waters flow silently on, 



284 LOST! 

Her guilt and her anguish to hide 

From the light and the sight of the sun ; 

To be borne to God's Bar on the tide, 
There to stand all despairing, undone. 

Lost! 

Had I seen her swathed in her shroud, 
Stiff and cold, with a face wan and white, 

I had wept, but not clamoured aloud ; 
And, tho' from my home gone the light, 

My heart and my head I had bowed, 

And said, thro' my tears, " All is right." 
Lost! 

God ! how long wilt Thou brook 

Earth's vices, her wrongs and her shame ? 

God ! how long wilt Thou look 

On the sins that are done 'gainst Thy name ? 

It is time 'neath Thy wrath the world shook ; 
Why flash not Thy lightnings in flame ? 
Lost! 

But no more. This only I say : 

With the stain of such guilt on thy soul, 



LOST I 285 

Man ! what wilt thou do in the day 

When God's thunders shall over thee roll, 

And thou shrink'st self- condemned in dismay, 
And thy lies shrivel up like a scroll. 
Lost ! 

Ah, yes, thou shalt meet with her there ! 

And God's justice those lips shall compel 
The truth, the whole truth, to declare, 

And confess thro' thy falsehood she fell. 
In heii eyes thou shalt read thy despair, 

From her tongue hear thy sentence of hell. 
Lost ! 



286 



LINES SUGGESTED BY SEEING A DEAD INFANT 
ON ITS MOTHER'S BREAST, 

J^rEXT lay upon its mother's breaking heart, 
(§iOi§ Whose sobs convulsive seemed to lend it life, 
For now the snow-white garments swelling 
rose, 
Now fell, as tho' quick pulses played beneath ; 
But they were stilled for ever. One short month 
The mother clasped her first-born to her heart, 
And then came envious Death with ruthless face, 
And breathing on it chilled its blood to ice, 
And the pure spirit took its flight to God. 
Upon its marble cheek a blush of pink, 
Like that which flushes o'er the sea-shell's rim, 
As if enamoured of a couch so pure, 
Slept still ; and thro' the parted lips you'd think 
There ever stole a balmy breathing forth, 
So like to sleep was death. 
Its little dimpled hand a lily clasped, 



LINES ON SEEING A DEAD INFANT. 287 

Meet emblem of itself, so fair, so sweet, 
And plucked withal untimely, ere the rose 
Had time to deepen on its rounded cheek. 
But lingered on its mouth a seraph smile, 
For Death, repentant of the theft he made, 
Had left it there, to soothe the mother's woe. 



288 



FOR MUSIC. 

3 fi$\S the marge of the Ocean when daylight is gone, 
i^feX ■"■ muse m sa( l thought by the snrf-beaten 
shore ; 
And weep out my woes as I wander alone, 

To mingle my sighs with the hoarse-sounding 
roar. 
Oh, my Xorah, my darling, my heart aches for thee ! 

Thou hast gone, and hast left me thy loss to deplore ; 
In the world there is nothing but darkness for me, 
No ! the light and the joy are ned evermore. 

'Twas she that gave hope and a charm to my life, 

She doubled its pleasures, she brightened its grief ; 
My own one, my dear one, my angel, my wife, 

AYhom I clasped to my heart in a rapture too brief ! 
Oh, would that I lay 'neath the fathomless wave ! 

That over me rolled the wild billowy surge, 
That winds sweeping round me might mournfully rave, 

And sinsr me to rest with a low moaninsr dirsre ! 



289 



SONNET. 



TO MY MOCKING-BIRD. 




^EAE bird, in plumage sober, soft, and grey ! 
Poets have sung in honour of the lark, 
Have hymned the nightingale, which, when 
the dark 
Falls on the woods, pours forth her thrilling lay 
Of sweet delicious pain ; or hurried, gay ; 
Exhausting praises on her passionate song 
Which floats in liquid sounds the night along. 
To me thou art more wonderful than they. 

Music has made her home within thy throat. 
Now swell thy strains as from a full- voiced quire, 
Now sinking low, in rapture they expire. 

But e'er the ear has lost the long-drawn note 
Another harmony thou hast begun, 
My lark, my thrush, my nightingale in one ! 



290 



SONNET. 

THE SAME. 

Qyjft&RT dreaming of thy dear and native woods 
^fe\^ Far in the "West, the fragrant forests fair, 
The gorgeous flowers, and the balmier air, 
When in these rapturous, ecstatic moods 
Thou pourest song in such melodious floods 

That other songsters, hearing, may despair ? 
Or dreamest thou of love, when there doth roll 
The thrilling love-chant gushing from thy soul 

In soft delicious strains, so oft renewed ? 
What moveth thee, a captive as thou art, 

To perch here, bold, familiar at my feet, 
And tho' from kindred and from mate apart, 

To send forth streams of music clear and sweet, 
With lifted, quivering wings, and swelling heart ? 



291 



SONNET. 
NATURE, 

n In Nature there is nothing melancholy." — Coleridge. 

wIn^HUS sings the poet; but does truth lie so? 
4mR^ Nature, indeed, in beauty rich is clad, 

But yet her fairest scenes are often sad ; 
E'en while we gaze, the eye will overflow ; 
As certain troubled undertones of woe 

Run thro' the very songs that make us glad. 
Thus melancholy shadows all below, 
We hardly hold our blessings till they go. 

Do not our smiles lie very near our tears ? 
Our brightest joys tread closely on our pains, 
Some discords linger thro' the sweetest strains, 

And hope is often darkened by our fears. 
And what the secret of all this ? The source ? 
Is it not here, " The world is out of course " ? 



292 



SONNET. 
OUR CATHEDRALS. 



&Wfe E vast Cathedrals of our native land, 
<§Jii® Whose arches seem designed to prop the sky, 
As tho' the angels had come down from high 
To do a work beyond a mortal hand, 
And rear a stately home for Deity ; 

What beauty crowns your massive towers, your 
spires, 

Where loves the sun to rest his glittering fires ! 
Tour buttresses and pinnacles how grand ! 

Relieved by deepened shade, the softened light 
Lies on your stately aisles and noble nave, 
Your hallowed walls and splendid architrave, 

And marble pillars, forests to the sight ; 
"While from your choir there sweep sweet symphonies, 
As erst God's voice thro' Eden's twilight trees. 



293 



SONNET. 

THE SAME. 

v^l p5>HEO' tlie laced fret-work of each, storied pane 
j§3 l 7 ^ Streams the rich, light, in many-coloured wave, 

Upon the tracery of aisle and nave, 
Dyeing the marble floors with splendid stain, 

And falling on the tombs where rest the brave. 
Tour walls, " magnifieal " with many a fold 
Of carved and groined oak, and burnished gold, 
Are worthy of a consecrated Fane ; 

And tho' in you there burns no mystic cloud, 
No Ark with sacramental treasures proud, 
Nor glory visible pervades your dome, ' 
Yet at the call of prayer, He deigns to come 
To meet His saints — that Holy One, who says, 
" He doth inhabit still His people's praise." 



294 



SONNET. 

STARS. 

U^ril^ Stars, that on this woeful Earth rain down 
lifeBa Thick sparkling showers of pure and radiant 
light, 

Which make the purple glories of the night 
Richer in lustre than a monarch's crown ; 

Ye Stars, that burn in heaven, so clear and bright, 
Does the sad spectacle of human tears 
Affect you not ? The grief that blights and sears, 
The seeds of ill that all around are sown ? 

Care ye not for the sin, the pain, the woe, 
The wrong, all, which a canker at the core 
Of happiness, opens a staunchless sore ? 

Oh, feel ye not for those who weep below ! 
Or look ye from your skies, in cold disdain, 
On all this planet knows of stormy pain ! 



295 



SONNET. 
THE CURSE. 

$RFV'HE Earth, is tracked by curse. On every tiring. 
|§l$5\ The fairest e'en, it sadly lingereth ; 

"We all have seen thy ravages, Death, 
We know thy fatal power, have mourned thy sting. 
The very flowers die, which clustering spring 

Around our feet in many a fragrant wreath ; 

They fade and wither, tainted with thy breath, 
And pine beneath the shadows thou dost fling. 
And if these radiant things which are so fair, 

W T oven from beams and showers, bloom but to die, 
So with all valued things of bright and rare, 

They pass just like the breathing of a sigh, 
And this dark judgment tarries on earth's brow, 
" The creature travails in its pain till now." 



296 



SONNET. 
CASAUBON. 

VsS) f|^HE age was superstitious, light, and vain ; 

i^(S The court was loose, voluptuous and base ; 

All men were struggling in the fight for place ; 

Even the priests thought " godliness was gain," 

Nor deemed it ill their hands with bribes to stain ; 
Their only aim to be first in the chase 
For riches, and to head the eager race ; 

To be outstripped, — this was their greatest pain. 
Casaubon only from such sin was clear, 

Nor ever from the right did turn aside, 
Looking to God, owning no other fear, 

His own convictious caring not to hide, 
No, rather would he boldly march to death, 
Than, truckling for applause, betray his faith. 



297 



SONNET. 
PHILIPPA. 

CONVERSIONS were the fashion of the clay— 

{<W& . 

oig^J, All ranks, from highest even unto least, 

Great ladies from the court, and meanest priest, 

Contended for the sheep that went astray, 

And sought to place them 'neath the Popedom' s sway ; 

Casaubon's daughter they strove hard to bring 

Under the shelter of the Church's wing, 
For here they said the road to heaven lay. 

Her father, fearing, tried her trust in God, 
Told her that " he was penniless and poor, 
Her only hope a marriage to secure, 
"Was the king's favour; that his grace to gain, 
She must abjure her faith, and wear Home's chain ;" 

And, while he spake, Philippa's eyes o'erflowed. 



298 



SOXXET. 



THE SAME. 



\p f^VHEX spake she out right boldly in his face, 
$ X- , Casaubon thrilling: as he stood and heard 

Each lofty sentiment, each noble word. 
She said, " Such abjuration were disgrace, 
Xothing would tempt her do a thing so base, 
Christ she would follow, and take up His cross, 
Xo matter at what sacrifice and loss. 

Her father might be poor, God would provide, 
Beyond the reach of want His servant place. 
Could she not work, and by her labour live ? " 
Would not her toil all that she needed give ? 
And God made good her trust. In His great love 
He took her early to Himself above ; 

And in the bloom of youth Philippa died. 



299 



SONNET. 

HASTINGS. 

M|?| ASTINGS, fair Hastings, I do love thee well, 
fJ^Lfe Shame on this thankless heart were there 
not still 

Within thy name a power to move and thrill. 
It comes upon me like a happy spell, 
To summon up, from Time's dark silent cell, 

Thoughts that with brimming tears the eye can fill. 

God knows how dear to me each street, each hill, 
More dear than I in any words can tell. 
I love the beach, washed by the emerald wave, 

Green fields, and shady dells, and glades that lie 

Under a bright, almost Italian sky. 

Nor is there spot that doth not gently blend 

With memories of dead or living friend ; 
But, most of all, I love one little grave. 



300 






SONNET. 



HASTINGS. 



tfftyjC BKOTHEB, say, does memory ever bring 
?*o2^ Across thy mind remembrances, that rise 
In mine, when often, in the balmy spring, 

We wandered 'neath the fair and deep-sphered skies, 

Still flushed with amber and with ruby dyes, 
Though dusky twilight had begun to fling 
O'er earth and heaven her over-shadowing wing, 

Veiling the woods in tender mysteries ? 
Oh, how we used to creep from bush to bush, 

Or sometimes stretch us on the fragrant ground, 

As the sweet nightingale poured all around 

A flood of melody, now soft and low, 
Now quick and joyous as a torrent's rush, 

Anon in piercing pipe of passionate woe ! 



801 



^! ( 




SONNET. 

THE SAME. 

;0 sound besides e'er stirred the pulseless air, 
Save when the tremulous music of the sea 
Came swelling up the glades and meadows 
fair, 
From the blue waves, across the upland lea, 
Whose thy my fragrance lured the yellow bee 
To revel oft in hours of sweetness there ; 
The happy thief! with none to cry, " Forbear !" 
Gone those bright times, forgot they cannot be. 
Our life was in its full and pleasant prime, 

Our joys were many, and our sorrows few ; 
Bravely we looked into the coming time, 

And not a fear, of what might be, we knew. 
Ah, pleasant, pleasant days ! I think it well, 
Sometimes to call them from the Past's deep cell. 



302 



SONNET. 

LAKE OF GENEVA. 

11) (P^-E mountains soar in grandeur to the skies, 
^LK Sublime, majestic, beautiful, and fair ; 

And steeped in lustrous bath of violet air, 
They take with wonder the delighted eyes, 
As near this heavenly lake they towering rise. 

And as they stand all drenched in glowing light, 

They look as smooth as samite to the sight, 
A gloss like sheen of satin on them lies, 
The magic atmosphere has lent the stone 
A tender beauty that is not its own ; 

Thus trial that is seen thro' tender haze 
Of time, and thro' the light of far past years, 

Is robbed of all its sharpness as we gaze, 
And sorrow's self a softer aspect wears. 



303 



SONNET. 
THE AZURE GROTTO, CAPRI. 

fENEATH the vine-clad slopes of Capri's Isle, 
Which run down to the margin of that sea, 
"Whose waters kiss the sweet Parthenope, 
There is a Grot whose rugged front the while ; 
Frowns only dark where all is seen to smile. 
But enter, and behold ! surpassing fair 
The magic sight that meets your vision there — 
Not heaven with all its broad expanse of blue, 

Gleams coloured with a sheen so rich, so rare, 
So changing in its clear translucent hue — 

Glassed in the lustrous wave the walls and roof, 
Shine as does silver scattered o'er the woof 
Of some rich robe ; or bright as stars whose light 
Inlays the azure concave of the night. 



804 



SONNET. 
THE SAME. 



^n S9& / 



fe^V-OU cannot find thronghont this world, I ween, 
<Sr<(o Waters so fair as those within this cave, 

Colour like that which flashes from the wave ; 
Or which is steeped in such cerulean sheen 
As here gleams forth within this Grotto's screen. 

And when the oar the boatman gently takes 
And dips it in the flood, a fiery glow, 
Buddy as phosphor stirs in depths below ; 

Each ripple into burning splendour breaks, 
As tho' some hidden fires beneath did lie 

Waiting a touch to kindle into flame, 
And shine in radiance on the dazzled eye, 

As sparkling up from wells of light they came, 
To make this Grot a fflory far and nio-h. 



305 



SONNET. 
THE SYBYLL'S CAVE, NAPLES. 

®§j pvyHERE is a Cave deep in the olive wood, 

^iflfiir O'ergrown with many a wild and shaggy tree, 
Beneath whose thick and tangled canopy 

Night, and her sister, awful solitude, 

In sombre silence ever grimly brood. 

The glorious sun, the moon so chastely fair. 
Shun each what seems a haunt for grim despair, 

A home for evil things — a fearful path, 

Down leading to the world of endless wrath. 
And when the torches on the blackness glare, 

All loathsome things appear, from which the heart 

Shudders, recoiling with a sudden start. 

For deep, and dark, and noisome as the grave, 
Is the dread horror of the Sybyll's cave. 



306 




AN OLD LETTER. 

£HE other morn, when all in careless part, 
I searched the papers in an old bureau, 
I met with one which thrilled and moved my 

heart, 
Quickened my pulse, and made my eyes o'erflow. 

It was a little sheet, all overrun 

With writing by a hand once clasped in mine, 
A. hand more prized than aught beneath the sun, 

Whose gift turned all my earthly to divine. 

Dear hand ! that with itself gave all it had, 

Heart — confidence and love, yea every thought, 

Whose lightest touch had power to make me glad, 
Such sunshine into every day it brought. 

Alas ! dear hand, that thou should'st be more frail 
Than this once fair, but now discoloured sheet, 

More passing than this ink, so faint and pale, 

In which are traced these thoughts all pure and sweet. 



AN OLD LETTER. 307 

O memories, that pierce the heart with pain ! 

O sorrow, that in tears finds best relief ■ 
bitter anguish, all renewed again ! 

( \ fresh return of agony and grief. 

Dear letter, thou shalt bide with me till death, 
And in the narrow coffin with me lie, 

For I shall tell them with my parting breath, 
That we must rest together — thou and I. 



308 



THREE SONNETS. 
THE ORIGIN OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT. 



yDEN all fresh, just finished by the Lord, 
^slg] Glowed with rich beauty, marvellously fair : 
Bright flowers like jewels gemmed the dewy 
sward, 
And filled with fragrance all the balmy air. 
God looking on His world, pronounced it good, 
Perfect throughout, from greatest unto least ; 
Adam, Creation's crown, in glory stood 

His Maker's image, Nature's King and Priest. 
To him each beast of field or forest came, 

All lowly crouching, fawning at his feet, 
To which he gave, as fitted each, a name, 
An appellation to their instincts meet ; 
And birds of air folded their downy wings, 
And waited near him, with all living things. 



THE ORIGIN OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT. 309 

II. 

Then went he round the garden's radiant bowers, 

That he might do the same for herb and plant, 
And give to all the sweet and starry flowers 

The name which now appeared their only want. 
Here grew the lily white, and violet fair, 

The azure gentian, oxlip, eglantine, 
All buds and blooms that scent the summer air, 

Some blue, some purple, some as red as wine : 
Some barred with gold, or striped and pied with green, 

Some drooping, slender, some erect and tall, 
But lovely each, and of a glossy sheen ; 

And Adam named them, thought he named them all. 
But as he moved away his ear was caught, — 
There came a pleading voice, " Forget-me-not ! " 

in. 

Hidden within its leaves, he had passed by 

This modest little flower, so very fair, 
And had not seen its gold and azure eye, 

Nor knew it grew in tender beauty there, 
Till there came whispering thro' its slender leaves 

A voice so low, 'twas tho' a zephyr sighed, — 



310 THE ORIGIN OF THE FORGET-ME-NOT. 

Regretfully as one who mourns and grieves — 
" Forget-me-not ! forget-me-not ! " it cried. 

Hence has this flower its name ; and far above 
All others it is dear to friendship's heart, 

Is consecrated wholly now to love, 

A gift till time shall end, when dear ones part, 

Who to each other, weeping their sad lot, 

Thro' this sweet flower shall say, " Forget-me-not. 



311 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A PICTURE. 

T7v|^T is an antique chamber : midniglit's pall 
fe^A® Has thrown its shadows o'er the pannell'd wall, 

The frescoed ceiling and the oaken floor, 
The inlaid cabinet, the massy door, 
The time-worn tapestry which clothes the room, 
And lends its share of black funereal gloom. 
Darkness is broken by the pale moonbeams, 
AVhich thro' the casement pour in fitful gleams, 
And mingle with a lamp's dull, sickly glow, 
That 'thwart the spacious chamber strives to throw 
A ray that flickers feebly on the night, 
And gives what is, and yet what is not, light. 
Upon the dark and polished oaken floor 
A dagger lies crimson' d with gouts of gore, 
Near it a couch, where, 'neath the lamp's pale sheen, 
A something lies which is but dimly seen : 
Seems it a human form, but cover' d round 
AVith drapery down flowing to the ground. 



312 RECOLLECTIONS OF A PICTURE. 

'Tis hard to say what is the thing aright, 

So faintly also falls on it the light. 

Full in the moonlight, lonely sits there one 

Whom woe and grief seem to have made their own ; 

Her hands are clasped convulsively, her eye 

Is wild, and fixed in some strange agony, 

Oat-starting from the socket, and the tear 

Is dried upon the pupils, hot and sear ; 

The face is blanch'd and scared, but here and there 

A hectic burns, the symbol of despair. 

While o'er her form, like some dark torrent's flow, 

In raven masses parted from her brow, 

Her loosened tresses wildly streaming fall, 

And sweep the floor of that dim-lighted hall ; 

And lend her cheek the wan and ghastly white 

Of snows that shiver 'neath the moon's pale light. 

Her bloodless lips press tightly ; some sore pain 

Shoots fiercely through her heart, and sears her \ rain, 

And wrings her soul, and gives that frightful air 

Of mingled dread, defiance, and despair. 

Sorrow or grief, or care, perchance, or crime, 

Has lined her marble brow ; it is not time ; 

For few her summers seem, and she is fair, 

Despite the agony that struggles there, 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A PICTURE. 813 

And wastes her with its fire. You know not why, 

But when yours meet that wild and burning eye, 

A nameless chill and fear upon you seize, 

That curdles up the blood, and makes it freeze : 

As his would do, if loathsome worms should creep 

And coldly writhe about his limbs in sleep, 

And then wakes horribly, with sudden start, 

To find them clust'ring coldly round his heart. 

What well of anguish springs in that young breast ? 

Is guilt, or frenzy, that fair bosom's guest ? 

There is not one to tell ; but it must be 

A dark, no doubt a guilty history. 

And oft for hours I sit and muse, and frame 

Me reasons why that blight upon her came, 

Which wither' d up her youth, and on it fell, 

To shadow all her life with its dark spell. 

They say, on earth there is not one who knows, 

The tale of that fair lady's bitter woes ; 

And that the record is immersed in gloom, 

And buried with the painter in his tomb, 

For ever with him perishing. 



314 



A CONCEIT. 

1848. 

@jj fp BANSLTJCENT stream, whose waters as they 

?&h g hde > 

Thy mossy banks and flower-pied margent lave, 
Glassing the while within their silver tide 

The reeds whose polish'd shafts bend o'er thy 
wave, 
And on whose breast, amid its leaves of green, 

The water-lily's pnre white blossom grows, 
As Spring and "Winter hand in hand were St3n, 

One scattering verdure, and the other snows — 
Much do I love to haunt thy murm'rous stream, 
To think of one, and of her fondly dream ; 
For rises near thy banks Armicla's bower, 
Amidst its roses she the fairest flower. 

Spring's earliest violet and primrose shed 

On all the fragrant air their sweets around, 



A CONCEIT. 315 

And here the star- eyed daisy lifts its head, 
And frosts the carpet of the flowery ground ; 

Here, too, the purple butterflies among 

The leafy branches dart with glittering wing, 

Eadiant as stars that shoot the heav'n along, 
And on their path a lustrous splendour fling ; 

Here Philomel with music charms the night, 

That, wrapt in silence, lists with pleased delight ; 

But tho' harmonious rang the crystal spheres, 

Armida's voice sweet only to my ears. 



And here the winds among the tall reeds sigh, 

Making their tubes the organs of sweet sound ; 
And melancholy music murmurs by, 

As tho' the genii of the breezes round, 
Tuned their soft, viewless harps upon the air. 

Morn's earliest ray, sweet river, gilds thy stream, 
The sun's last look rests on thy waters fair, 

And lothe to take from thee his lingering beam, 
He slowly sinks into the purple west, 
Enamoured of the beauties of thy breast ; 
But did Armida sun thee with her eyes, 
Thou'dst henceforth scorn the sunlight of the skies. 



316 A CONCEIT. 

Armicla 'tis that makes the flower seem fair, 

Armida who the common earth makes bright, 
Armida's voice with music fills the air — 

Armida' s eye that gives the sun his light ! 
Oh ! the dark depth of that inspiring eye, 

Whose every flash seems sent forth but to kill ! 
Yet who could storm against such enemy, 

Or think, to die by such sweet death an ill ? 
Thus I, tho' looking, die, yet can't refrain, 
But look and die — to look and die again ! 
Oh ! hard it is, the fatal truth to prove 
That we must die even by that we love. 




317 



TO A FRIEND, 

WITH A BOOK. 

^!7TX)H, gentle friend ! if e'er, in after days, 
%$\ When I, and those sweet hours I passed 
with thee, 

Shall all forgotten be, 
These few and feeble words should meet thy gaze, 
And they should one, but one remembrance bring 

Of me from mem'ry's spring, 
My wish is gain'd, — it may be idle, yet 
I would not have thee quite those days forget. 

It is at best a sad, sad thing to part, 

From those we hold amongst our cherished friends ; 

But yet, alas ! it sends 
A deeper sorrow thro' the mourning heart, 
To think that with the word " Farewell, " our lot 

Is then to be forgot, 
Dropt from the memory, — this makes our grief, 
To think regret for us will be so brief. 



318 TO A FRIEND. 

Farewell ! and when thou think' st upon the hour, 
When, at a wish of thine, I did engage 

To trace upon the page 
These lines, I would that they may have the power, 
To bring into thy breast one passing thought 

Of me, with kindness fraught ; 
As streamlets mingle gently with the seas, 
So would I with thy cherished memories. 

And when life's morn is wearing on to even, 
May each remembrance carry with it joy, 

Unsullied by alloy ; 
And as, altho' the sun be set, yet heaven 
Still wears a lustre from his parting ray, 

So may life's closing day, 
Tho' youth be o'er, still sparkle with a light, 
Eenected from a past serene and bright ! 



319 




THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

A BRETON BALLAD, TRANSLATED FKO^I THE FRENCH OF 
VLLLEMAHQUE. 

1853. 

I. 
'NE clay after my betrothal I was forced to take 
'(? my way, 

"With the Lord de Rieux's army, where the 
scene of combat lay ; 
In the suite of the old Baron I was forced to cross the 

sea, 
That in Wales I might do battle for the Britons bold 
and free — 

" Haste thee now, my page so trusty, and come with 

me to the fight ! " 
On this day, bitter sorrow ! out, alas ! this woeful 

night, 
Must I to my Bride so gentle say a sad and long adieu: 
Oh, the heart within my bosom will with anguish break 

in two ! 



320 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

As lie neared the ancient mansion, trembled he until 

he bow'd, 
As he crossed the well-known threshold, then his heart 

beat fast and loud. 

" Come, dear knight, draw near the hearthstone, while 

I give thee bread to eat," 
" No, gramerc} 7 ," thus replied he, " neither want I 

wine nor meat, 
All the favour I implore thee, all the boon I of thee 

seek, 
Is that with thy fairest daughter I may have thy leave 

to speak." 

When the lady heard his answer, off she slipp'd her 

silken shoon, 
Then stepp'd quickly in her hosen, stepp'd up to the 

bedside soon, 
And thus leaning over gently, spake in accents soft and 

mild, 
11 Wake, Aloida! dearest maiden, leave thy bed, my 

darling child ; 
Quicklyrouse thee from thy slumbers, sweetest daughter, 

list, I pray, 



THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 321 

He, thy true love, craves thy presence, much he has 
with thee to say." 

From the bed the maiden darted, swift as arrow thro' 
the air, 

O'er her snowy shoulders floated masses of her night- 
black hair. 

Then I said, "Alas! Aloida, Oh my brightest, fairest 

bride, 
O'er the sea I sail to-morrow, leaving, sweetest, thy 

dear side. 
We must part, for unto En gland with the Baron bold I go, 
Ah, the dear God knoweth only all the sharpness of my 

woe." 

" In the name of yon blue heaven, sail not, my beloved, 

from me. 
For the wind it is inconstant, and all treach'rous is 

the sea, 
Should' st thou die, what then would happen to Aloida, 

hapless dove, 
Oh, my heart would break, impatient, waiting tidings 

of my love. 
On the beach I lone shall wander, where the fishers' 

dwellings rise, 

x 



322 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

And shall ask of all who meet me, anxious looking in 

their eyes : 
1 Have 3'e heard, ye kindly seamen, have ye heard, oh, 

truly tell : 
Aught of him, my own betrothed, him I only love too 

well?'" 

Thus outspoke the maiden weeping, weeping 'midst her 

grief and woe, 
Whilst the knight, her sorrow soothing, kiss'd the bright 

tears in their flow. 

u Ah, forbear, Aloida dearest, sweet ! these bitter tears 

restrain, 
I will bring thee back a girdle from the countries o'er 

the main ; 
Yes, a marriage zone I'll bring thee, of a purple deep 

and bright, 
All y' decked with burning rubies, sparkling as the 

stars of night." 

Oh, to see the knight thus seated by the fire's fast 
fading glow, 






THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 323 

With Aloida on his bosom, and her head down drooping 

low, 
And her arms his neck encircling, arms as white as 

driven snow, 
All the while in silence weeping, dreading the approach 

of day, 
Of that dark and fatal morning which should tear her 

love away ! 

When the dawn at length broke dimly, sadly thus 

outspoke the knight : 
" Hark, my sweet ! the cock is crowing, and appear 

the streaks of light." 

" Nay, my love, he only cheats us, rest thou, dearest, 

patient, still, 
'Tis the moon, that softly shineth on the brow of yonder 

hill." 

"Sweetest love, I cry thee mercy, 'tis the sun whose 

rays appear, 
Shining thro' the eastern casement, with a radiance all 

too clear." 



324 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

Now he's left the ancient portal, now he's crossed the 

olden moat, 
As he goes the raven croaketh from his hoarse 

ill-omen'd throat. 

If all treacherous is the ocean, tempting to a watery 

grave, 
Far more treacherous still is woman, falser than the 

changing wave ! 



ii. 

When the summer waned to autumn, on the feast of 

St John's Day, 
Thus, to some of her companions, the young girl was 

heard to say : 

c ' I saw far upon the ocean, from the top of Mount Arey, 
Struggling hard a gallant vessel, which the waves 

sought for their prey ; 
On the poop did stand my lover, like a knight who 

ne'er would yield, 
Clasp'd his hand his gleaming falchion, which right 

bravelv he did wield. 



THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 325 

And he fought the foeman fiercely, from the place 

whereon he stood, 
Never flinching from the conflict till he fell all bathed 

in blood. " 

Thus she said, the fair Aloida, down her cheeks the 

hot tears glide ; 
And at Christmas, holy season, she becomes another's 

bride. 

Xow good news and joyful tidings greet the ear on 

every hand, 
\Tar is o'er, the knight returneth, victor, to his native 

land. 
As he flies, on wings of rapture, to Aloida' s long'd-for 

home, 
Sounds of loud and dulcet harpings from each brilliant 

chamber come ; 
For from every window'd lattice lights are streaming 

gay and bright, 
Chasing all the gloomy shadows from the raven wings 

of night. 

11 ye singers of the Yule-tide, who now cross the fields 
to me, 



326 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

What good tidings can ye tell me of the house from 

whence ye be ? 
Say, what meaneth all this music, borne along so sweet 

and clear 
From the doors of yonder mansion to the pleased and 

listening ear." 

' 'There are on the harp sweet players, two and two 

who skilful play, 
When the bridal milk- soup reaches first the happy 

bride's doorway ; 
There are others, harpers also, who play sweetly three 

and three, 
As the milk- soup first is carried o'er the porch with 

mirth and glee." 



in. 

AVhilst the serfs and vassals bidden feasted richly, one 

and all, 
Came there up a traveller lowly, asking shelter in the 

hall: 
' ' Give me, gentle sirs, I pray you, of your pity give me 

bread ; 



THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 327 

Night is hastening, and I know not where to lay my 
weary head." 

" Welcome art thou, wanderer weary, thou shalt find 

both food and. rest, 
And at table shalt be seated with the noblest and the 

best; 
Pray draw nigh, friend, that my husband and myself 

may tend our guest." 

As they trod the first gay measure, said the bride with 

winsome glance : 
"What is't aileth thee, poor stranger, that thou dost 

not join the dance ? " 

"Nothing, lady. If I dance not," answered he with 

gasping breath, 
" "lis that, tired and faint with travel, I am wearied 

unto death." 

As they trod the second measure, said the bride with 

winsome glance : 
" What, art weary still, I pray thee, that thou wilt not 

join the dance ?" 



828 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

" Lady, yes, I still am weary; oil, most weary am 

I still ! 
And a weight is at my bosom, and a pain my heart 

doth fill." 

At the third dance, smiling sweetly, thus outspoke the 

lady free : 
" Come, sir stranger, of thy courtesy, come and join 

the dance with me." 

" Lady, surely this great honour is, for one like me, too 

high ; 
Yet who could be so uncourteous to decline or pass 

it by?" 

As they danced he leaned and whispered, hissing 

hoarsely in her ear, 
Whilst a smile both wan and ghastly on his white lips 

did appear, 
"Where's the ring of gold I gave thee, at the door 

where now we stand ? 
Scarce a twelvemonth has pass'd over since I press' d 

it on thy hand." 

Then, with eyes and hands uplifted, cried the bride in 
fearful tone, 



THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 329 

"All my peace, God, is over, all my happiness is 

gone ! 
Deeming that I was bereaved, that my first love lost 

his life, 
Now, instead of one, two husbands claim me for their 

wedded wife ! " 

"No! thou'rt wrong indeed, fair maiden, not one 

husband hast thou now ; " 
And forth from his vest he draweth, with an angry 

flashing brow — 
Draweth forth the hidden dagger, which he to the very 

hilt 
Buries in the maiden's bosom, trembling deeply for her 

guilt. 
Then her head down drooping slowly on his quivering 

breast she lies, 
And close to the heart that loved her, calling on her 

God, she dies. 



In Daouly's cloister' d Abbey, you may see a statue fair, 
'Tis of Christ, His virgin mother, which a purple zone 
doth wear ; 



330 THE MARRIAGE ZONE. 

'lis y'decked with sparkling rubies, that most costly 

seem to be, 
And have all been brought with danger far from 

countries 'cross the sea. 
Would'st thou know who made the offering? Ask the 

prostrate monk that lies 
At the feet of Mary, shaken with a storm of tears and 

sighs. 



■*§3f&^ D^^ 



^ 



331 



LORD NANN AND THE FAIRY. 

A BRETON BALLAD, FROM THE FRENCH OF VILLEMARQUE. 

18 53. 

I. 

Jyl^SJlOBD Nann and his gentle bride were wed in 
j g?|5J& days of early youth, 

And early they were doomed to part, tho' full 
of love and truth. 
But yesterday the lady bore twins, white as the drifting 

snow, 
And sweet as spring-tide roses are, which from one 
stalk outgrow. 

" Now tell me, love, what is the food for which thy heart 

doth pine, 
And, as this day a son thou'st borne, it quickly shall be 

thine. 
Wilt woodcock from the valley have, where grows the 

primrose sweet, 



332 LORD NANN AXD THE FAIRY. 

Or venison from the deep green-wood to make thee 
savoury meat ? n 

Oh, venison, dear, it likes me best ! but weary is the 

chase ;" 
The words her lips had scarcely crossed when he started 

from his place, 
And seized right fast his oaken spear his manly hands 

between, 
Then leaped with speed on his coal-black steed and 

gained the forest green. 

A milk-white doe full soon he saw on the borders of 

the brake, 
He followed so fleet, that beneath his feet the trembling 

earth did shake ; 
Tie followed so fleet, that from his brow the big drops 

fell like rain, 
And his gallant courser's panting sides the foam did 

fleck and stain. 

And now the sinking day declined, and deepened into 

night, 
While overhead the radiant stars shone out both clear 

and brio'ht. 



LORD KANN AND THE FAIRY. 333 

Near to the grot of Koniginn. where all was soft and 

green, 
A streamlet held its silver course the flowers and moss 

between. 

Lord Nann he now did light him down, close to the 

streamlet's brink, 
And stooping low he thought full sure the cooling wave 

to drink. 



ii. 

Beside her well, the Koniginn sat combing out her hair, 
She combed all with a golden comb the tresses bright 

and fair ; 
For rich they say such ladies are : oh, richer far, I ween, 
Than dames who stately lead the dance in halls of king 

and queen ! 

"How! Art so rash as dare to shake the Fairy's 

charmed well ? 
Here take thy choice of these three things, which to 

thy face I tell : 
Wed me at once, upon this spot, or pine for seven long 

years, 



334 LORD NANN AXD THE FAIRY. 

Or die, ere three short days have run their course, in 
grief and tears." 

11 With thee I may not, cannot wed, as for a twelvemonth 

now 
A sweet young bride has called me lord, and owns the 

marriage vow ; 
Nor shall I pine for seven long years, nor die in three 

short days, 
But when it pleaseth God I shall, in His all-gracious 

ways. 
And yet I'd die contented here, and end at once my 

life, 
All cold outstretched upon my bier, sooner than call 

thee wife." 

in. 
11 Kind mother, as thou lovest me, oh, make my bed 

full soon ! 
If until now it be not made, I pray thee grant this 

boon, 
For I am sick and very weak, but do not breathe a 

word 
To my own dearest spouse of this, to him I call my 

lord. 






LORD NANN AND THE FAIRY. 335 

Yet in three days I shall be there, i where the weary 

are at rest,' 
And pillow my head amongst the dead, down on the 

earth's cold breast. 
On me a Koniginn has cast, I know the truth full well, 
A charm that withers up my life, a dark unholy spell." 
And when three days had flown away, the young wife 

feebly said, 
Her snowy hands both pressed against her hot and 

throbbing head : 

" Oh, tell me, mother, of my lord ! why do the bells all 

ring, 
AVhy do the priests chant down below, why white-robed 

do they sing?" 

"A poor, unhappy man, my love, who lodged with us, 

has died ; " 
" Oh, tell me, mother mine, w^hat keeps my husband 

from my side ! " 

u He's ridden to the town, my child, and soon thou 

shalt him see; " 
"Dear mother, now I pray thee tell, and truly tell 

to me, 



336 



LORD NANN AND THE FAIRY. 



What robe shall I put on this day, my blue robe or my 

red, 
That I may go into the church and hear the masses 

said?" 

"If thou dost want the newest mode, why then I hear 

them say, 
A black robe is the fittest gear for those who go to 

pray." 

As up the churchyard's sloping path right gently she 

passed on, 
Lo ! her poor husband's grave she sees, and at its head 

a stone ; 
" Which of our kin has died so late ? " in faltering voice 

she said, 
" That all so fresh the earth is turned. Oh, tell me who 

is dead ! " 

" Alas ! my darling daughter, 'tis vain to hide it now ; 
woe ! it is thy husband, who doth lie the earth 
below." 



On her two knees the lady sank, she sank to rise no 
more, 



LORD NANN AND THE FAIRY. 337 

Her spirit passed to that bright land, where her lord 
had gone before. 

'Twas strange, I ween, when fell the night upon the 

day she died, 
And down they laid her in the grave, close to her 

husband's side, 
To see two oaks spring from the tomb, which reared 

their branches high, 
All rich in summer foliage green, against the clear 

blue sky ; 
And on their boughs two milk - white doves sat 

fluttering bright and gay, 
Which, when the purple morning broke, to heaven did 

wing their way. 



— c^^Q.^H^CL>^) 



338 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 

A BRETON BALLAD, TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF 
YILLEMARQUE. 

1853. 



I. 




^IIST, list to me, good grandam mine : I to 



the feast would go, 
Where holds the king a royal race in kingly 
pomp and show." 
' 'Thou shalt not to this feast, my son. I do not hide 

my fears ; 
Thou shalt not to this feast, I say, for thy cheek is wet 

with tears. 
An' I can stop thee, dearest son, thither thou may'st 

not go, 
For in thy dreams the hot tears fell like rain in wintry 

flow." 
' * Kind mother, little mother mine, seek not thy son to 
keep." 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 339 

" Iii going thither thou shalt sing, returning thou shalt 
weep." 

ii. 

He has saddled his bay palfrey, all shod with polished 

steel ; 
The splendid housing decks his side, all o'er from 

head to heel. 
He puts the bit within his mouth, round his neck a 

ring he throws ; 
And from his long and glossy tail a streaming ribbon 

flows. 
Upon his shining back he mounts, and to the feast he 

hies, 
And rushes on right gallantly, as fleet as bird that flies. 
Now, as he nears the longed-for spot, the braying 

trumpets sound, 
And the people press in their gala dress, and the 

prancing horses bound. 

Then up and spake a herald bold, in voice heard far 

and near, 
" To him who in the lists to-day the highest bar shall 

clear. 



340 



3IEELIX, THE BARD. 



To him who in a perfect leap shall pass the boundary 

wide, 
The king's fair daughter shall bo given, a sweet and 

beauteous bride.' ' 
Reared high the palfrey at the words, and, bounding, 

neighed aloud ; 
The fire flashed brightly from his eyes, from his nostrils 

came the cloud. 
Xow curvets he, now prances he, now pawing snuffs the 

ground ; 
Xow with the speed of light he clears the barrier at a 

bound, 
Leaving all rivals in the race at a distance far 

behind. 
And now the victor's voice is heard, floating along the 

wind : 
"My lord the king, I claim as mine, Lindore thy 

daughter fair, 
In virtue of thy royal oath, my heart and home to 

share." 
' 'Lindore thy bride shall never be, ne'er wed with one 

so low ; 
Xo sorcerer shall be her lord, or hear her marriage 

vow." 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 341 

Then whispered him an aged man, near to the king's 

right hand, 
Whose beard, all whiter than the wool, fell to his 

girdle's band. 
All dight he was in woollen robe, fringed with bright 

silver lace, 
Such as doth oft in stately halls a monarch's person 

grace. 
When heard the king the sage's words, three hasty 

blows struck he 
With the golden sceptre in his hand on the table at his 

knee. 
So loud he struck, the nobles all kept silence deep and 

still, 
And hearkened they with, breathless awe, as the king 

spoke out his will : 
' * If thou can' st bring me Merlin's harp," so spake he 

out at last, 
" Which with four golden chains is bound, and bounden 

too, full fast ; 
If Merlin's harp thou bringest me, which hangeth at 

his bed, 
Why, then, mayhap, my daughter dear at the altar 

thou shalt wed." 



342 MERLIX, THE BARD. 



III. 

11 Kind grandam mine, dear grandam mine, as thou 

dost love me well, 
I pray thee by thy love to me, forthwith thy counsel tell ; 
Or else this weary heart will break, its strings will 

break with woe, 
And to the grave at once I'll pass, and lie the green sod 

below." 
" This had not been," his grandam said, "had'st thou 

my bidding done ; 
But weep no more, dear child of mine, the harp shall 

be thine own. 
Then weep no more, my grandson dear, this golden 

hammer take, 
Beneath its stroke no sound is heard, it falls like white 

snow-flake." 



IV. 

" Rejoice ye in this palace all, since I've return d witli 

speed, 
Bearing the harp of Merlin back to claim my promised 

meed." 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 343 

Now, when the king's good son him heard, he whispered 

to his sire, 
And the king himself outspoke right loud, and his eyes 

they flashed with fire : 
; 'Now, by my royal crown, young sir, yea, by my 

kingly life, 
If thou old Merlin's ring wilt bring, my daughter is 

thy wife." 



Back to his grandam then he hies in haste and 

burning tears, 
xA.nd now in rage, and now in grief, makes known to 

her his fears. 
" My lord the king has spoken thus, and so and so he 

said." 
' ' Grieve not for this, keep up thy heart, nay, never 

droop thy head, 
Take thou that branch which yonder lies within my 

casket small ; 
From out it grow twelve little leaves which softly rise 

and fall — 
Twelve little leaves, and brighter far than any burnished 

gold, 



344 MERLIN, THE BARD. 

Seven nights I spent in seeking them beneath the 

moonlight cold. 
Full seven long years ago it was, in seven darkling 

woods, 
Where the place is full of terrors, and blackness always 

broods. 
At midnight, when the cock he crows, your steed then 

quickly take, 
And let not fear assail your heart, Merlin shall not 

awake." 
At dead of night, when crew the cock, the bay steed 

bounded on, 
Scarce has the cock his crowing ceased ere Merlin's 

ring is won. 



Before the king at early morn again the young man 

stood, 
Who at that sight rose up at once in dazed and 

wondering mood ; 
Astonished, too, were all the men gathered in presence 

there, 
And eyed the youth all o'er and o'er, with amazed and 

anxious stare. 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 345 

"Behold his bride he's won," they cry, "his bride he's 

nobly won ; 
And she shall be his lawful wife in the sight of yonder 

sun." 
The king now and his son withdrew, and the old man 

he retires, 
But soon returning with them both, the king spake his 

desires : 
" 'Tis true, my son, as thon hast heard, this day thou'st 

won thy wife ; 
There's only one thing more I ask, I swear it by my 

life. 
It is the last, — in doing this, thou shalt be my true 

son, 
My daughter then shall be thy bride, and all Leon is 

thine own. 
By my forefathers' bones, bring here great Merlin to 

our sight, 
And when he comes, I swear that he shall bless the 

marriage rite." 

VI. 

" Oh, Merlin, Bard ! whence comest thou in weeds so 
sad and torn — 



346 MERLIX, THE BARD. 

Where goest thou with naked feet, bare head, and face 

forlorn ? 
Oh whither, say, in this sad plight, old Merlin, dost 

thou go, 
With oaken staff, and troubled brow, and eyes that 

overflow?" 
" Seeking my harp in this sad world, my consolation 

sole, — 
♦Seeking ray harp, and eke my ring, — their loss has 

brought me dole." 



•'Merlin, old Merlin,- grieve not, let these tidings 

soothe thy pain, 
Xot lost are either harp or ring, they shall be thine 

again ; 
Come in, come in, poor Merlin, and take some meat 

with me." 
"No ! no! I cannot cease my walk, nor eat nor drink 

with thee ; 
No food shall ever pass these lips till I my harp have 

found, 
Till this is done, the world I pace in one long weary 

round." 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 347 

11 Merlin, oh Merlin ! heed me now, and thou thy harp 

shalt find." 
So sore she pressed hirn that at last she won upon his 

mind, 
And then he comes into her house, and quietly sits 

down ; 
But still all woeful is his heart, and his tears they 

flow adown. 
At evening comes the old dame's son, and finds old 

Merlin there ; 
He shakes with fear as he glances round, and sees the 

minstrel's chair. 
The minstrel's head droops on his breast, sleep binds 

him in its chain, 
The son he thinks he now can flee from his mother's 

house amain. 
" Hush, hush, my child, fear not at all, Merlin is 

wrapped in sleep ; 
You need not fear that he will start from out his 

slumber deep. 
Three ruddy apples, fair to see, I in the embers 

laid, 
These roasted well, I gave to him ; hush, son ! be not 

afraid ; 



348 MERLIN, THE BARD. 

He ate the three, he'll follow thee wherever thou dost 

go, 
Through forest dark, o'er mountain high, or in the 
valley low." 

YII. 

From out the royal bed the queen thus to her women 

said: 
1 ' What great arrival has there been ? Why has the 

trumpet brayed ? 
The morning's light had hardly fall'n upon the dewy 

ground, 
When the pillars of my bed did shake 'neath the loud 

and joyous sound. 
Why shout the mob ? I pray you tell. "What means 

these voices loud ? 
Why rings the sky with praises high, as from a mighty 

crowd?" 

" Merlin, the noble Bard, is come, the citizens 

rejoice ; 
Therefore you hear the trumpet's flare, and the 

people's shouting voice. 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 349 

There comes with him an aged crone, and there walketh 

at her side 
Your fair young son who is to have your daughter for 

his bride." 

When the king he hears the tidings, he hurries out 

right fast, 
And runs to meet old Merlin, and to the Bard doth haste. 

11 Arise, good herald, from thy bed, awake, arise, arise, 
And publish through the land the news, proclaim it 

in this wise : 
' Who will may to the marriage come, may join the 

wedding feast ; 
All people in the land may come, from highest unto 

least. 
For eight days shall the feast be held all in my palace 

here, 
In honour of my sweet Lindore, my child, my daughter 

dear.' " 
To the marriage all the nobles ride, the nobles of 

Bretagne, 
The judges and the gallant knights, each true and 

princely man. 



850 MERLIN, THE BARD. 

And first the Counts, and then the poor, and eke the 

rich beside, 
They swiftly to the palace come from all the country 

side. 



" Silence ! keep silence, all who come, and hear the 

king's command : 
The marriage of the royal maid ! For eight days from 

the land 
Let come who will — aye, come ye sirs, come ye both 

one and all ; 
No matter what your rank or age, but come both great 

and small. 
To the marriage all ye nobles hie, ye nobles of Bretagne, 
Ye judges and ye gallant knights, Church-men and 

warlike man ; 
Come first the mighty Counts, and then come both ye 

rich and poor — 
The rich and poor, who shall not lack of gold or silver 

store. 
Nor shall they want, or meat or drink, or wine or 

hydromel, 
Or couches soft on which to rest, or men to serve them 

well. 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 351 

Two porkers fat shall here be slain, two hundred bulls 

or more, 
Two hundred heifers, and of deer as many as five 

score : 
Two hundred beeves, half black, half white, whose 

horns shall given be 
To all who come from far and near this wedding high 

to see. 
Then for the priests, an hundred robes of wool as white 

- as snow, 
An hundred collars all of gold, with pearls in every 

row; 
Each warrior shall have one, — shall have it for his 

own, 
And wear it as a loyal badge of fealty to the 

throne. 
A chamber filled with cloaks all blue — blue as the skv 

above — 
For ladies young, and fair, and chaste, and gentle as 

the dove. 
Eight hundred warm new garments to the poorest shall 

be given, 
For well we know how dear they are, how cared for up 

in heaven. 



352 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 



And lastly, in their seats aloft, both through the night 

and day, 
One hundred well-skilled minstrels upon their harps 

shall play ; 
While Merlin, Bard, amidst the court shall celebrate, 

I ween, 
The marriage-rite, and all shall say, such feast was 

never seen." 

" List, all ye skilful cooks, I pray, — what! is the 

marriage o'er?'' 
"It is: the splendid pageant's passed, such shall be 
seen no more." 



For fifteen joyous days it held, and all was glad and 

gay, 

And now unto their homes again they all have passed 

away ; 
Nor went they empty to their homes, but laden with 

rich store 
Of royal gifts and venison which to their land they 

bore. 
The bridegroom to fair Leon's land his bride with 

joy he bears, 



MERLIN, THE BARD. 353 

And all are happy but the king : his eyes are full of 

tears, 
His heart is sad and sorrowful : his heart is sick and 

sore ; 
His daughter she has left his home ; he shall see her 

nevermore. 

Merlin again is lost to sight, none know where 

bideth he, 
Whether in cavern of the earth, in air, or in the sea. 




354 










"THE HOPE DEFERRED THAT MAKETH THE 
HEART SICK." 

«0"VT trod she with a restless step the room, 
^k A fevered light within her burning eye ; 
Anon she paused, and looked out thro' the 
gloom, 
To listen for a step that might go by. 

She said, — 
11 The hills look sad thro' the driving rain, 
The wind beats loud on the lattice pane, 
I wait for his coming, but all in vain. 

Against the shore of the stormy lake 
The restless waters in white foam break, 
And falling back, a wild moaning make. 

I shudder all o'er with a creeping chill, 

A dreadful sense of a coming ill ; 

I pace the room, and cannot keep still. 



' ' THE HOPE DEFERRED. " 855 

I have watched three days that seem like years, 
I have waked three nights in blinding tears ; 
I am sick at heart with these doubts and fears. 

The shadows are gathering all around, 
The night is closing. I hear no sound, 
But screech of owl, and bay of hound. 

There is no one near — I am all alone, 
No one to care how I weep or moan, 
Oh that I lay 'neath the cold grey stone ! 

Hark ! thro' the rain and wind that beat, 
I hear a sound as of coming feet, 
Is it he, is it he that I long to greet ? 

Oh, no, no ! they have passed the door, 
Why should I hope when hope is o'er ? 
fool, to be fooled for evermore ! 

false heart ! they told me so ; 

Told me of all the grief and woe, 

But I scorned their words, and bade them go. 

And he, what cares he for the pain, 

The vanished hope, the aching brain, 

The heart that breaks with the maddening strain I " 



356 



• THE HOPE DEFERRED." 



She sank upon the floor, and grovelled low, 
And in the dust she bowed, and laid her head, 

And only that she shook with sobs of woe 

You might have deemed she was amongst the dead. 



So fares it with all, and so it ever must, 

Who make frail man their hope, not God their trust, 

Their idols shattered lie, and crumbled into dust. 



357 



A PARABLE FROM NATURE. 

i^^EOM out a heap of roughest stones, 
Close to the highway's side, 
Blossom' d a little fairy flower, 
Azure and golden-eyed. 

It drew its sweet and mystic life 

From that rude, rocky bed, 
Hence sprang each green and slender leaf, 

On dews and sunshine fed. 

Emblem of faith did then appear, 

That beauteous flower to me, 
Faith growing stronger from the power 

Of dark adversity. 

Submissive still beneath the stroke, 

Of trial's needful rod : 
Still keeping pure its quenchless light, 

And looking up to God. 



358 



THE WATCHMAN. 




R*>HE night still lay on a quaint old town, 



On which dumb silence had settled down. 
Slowly the minutes were wearing away, 
It wanted yet some hours of day ; 
In the slcy were seen no streaks of dawn, 
Tho' the midnight bell had chimed and gone — 
The city was hush'd in a sleep like death, 
Not a sound or motion, pulse, or breath ; 
Save as the shadows began to Ree } 
The old Dome clock struck the hour of " three," 
Out on the morning solemnly. 



Death had entered a darkened room, 
Pall'd and shadow'd in dreary gloom, — 
A sick man lay on his fevered bed, 
With a throbbing heart and restless head : 



* It is a custom, I believe, in some old German town3 for the 
watchman to give the hours in the patriarchal way, and after each 
lias struck, to call for an expression of trust in God. 



THE WATCHMAN. 359 

And at morn the great church bell would toll 
From the tall church tower for a passing soul. 
Swiftly was ebbing the fair young life, 
Soon would pass the anguish and strife ; 
Ere long another spirit should be, 
On the awful marge of that shoreless sea, 
"Which we only know as Eternity. 

When the bell struck "three/' a voice was heard, 
Which the heart to its centre thrill' d and stirr'd. 
It fell, as falls a voice from heaven, 
To comfort a soul that is torn and riven ; 
As it echoed loudly along the street, 
Its every accent was strangely sweet, 
For into its tones was gathered this sound, 
As the Watchman paced his lonely round : 
" Trust the Divine the Eternal Three, 
After the darkest night shall be 
The dawn of a glorious morn for thee. r 

A wife sat close to that couch of pain, 
Weeping to see the dear life wane, 
The tears well'd hot from her deep despair, 
From an anguish almost too great to bear. 



360 



THE WATCHMAN. 



helpless love, that could only pray ! 
fear, that shrank from the coming day ! 
yearning wish, that she might die ! 
A swathed corpse at his side might lie ! 

Her sorrow— ah ! 'twas piteous to see ! 

As sternly, slowly, heavily, 

The Dome clock struck the hour of "three. 

All things told of the coming woe — 

The fire-light burning red and low, 

The night-lamp waxing faint and dim, 

As though fire and lamp felt the Presence grim- 

And the sick man moaned beneath his breath, 

His pulses beating a march to death ; 

But now there came on his failing ear 

The cry of the watchman, solemn, clear ; 

Like an angel's voice it seemed to be, 

Floating along the glassy sea, 

Tuned to celestial melodv. 



And when the tread of the watchman's feet 
Came echoing down the silent street, 
And his words came sounding along the night, 
To the lady's eye there stole a light ; 



THE WATCHMAN. 861 

And her troubled face grew calm and still, 
And her head was bowed to God's loving will ; 
For the watchman's words throbb'd on the air 
In the holy tones of a saintly prayer — 

Words that had each a harmony, 

Caught from the deep Eternity, 

And telling of coming victory. 

Then over the face of the dying man, 
So pale and worn, so deathly wan, 
There passed a beautiful smile of peace, 
A look of wonderful rest and ease ; 
And a radiance flushed both cheek and brow, 
The Master had come for his servant now, 
And sweetly from far came the watchman's cry, 
Like the strains of some heavenly minstrelsy, 
" Trust the Divine the Eternal Three, 
After the darkest night shall be 
The dawn of a glorious morn for thee." 

A still white face lay on the bed — 
The pathetic face of the newly dead — 
O'er-leant by living face of one 
All pale and wan, and love undone ; 

2 A 



362 



TEE WATCHMAN. 



But the breaking heart gave forth no cry, 
Not a tear-drop fell from the burning eye, 
For there sang in her soul, now more than calm, 
Triumphant as voice of some noble psalm — 
" Trust the Divine the Eternal Three, 
After the darkest night shall be 
The dawn of a glorious morn for thee. ,,